Common misconceptions about the Day of the Dead celebration

Día de Muertos is not the Mexican version of Halloween. Mexicans have celebrated the Day of the Dead since 1800 B.C.

pintando a niño de calavera para halloween
Photo: Getty

The Day of the Dead is not the Mexican version of Halloween. Mexicans have celebrated the Day of the Dead since 1800 B.C.

It is not scary or morbid. There are no pictures or images of dead people, ghosts, witches, or the devil.

The Day of the Dead is not a cult. This ritual has nothing to do with cults. It is a Catholic Christian ritual intermixed with folk culture. Going to mass is an essential aspect of this celebration.

Day of the Dead doesn’t honor death, but our dead relatives. We welcome the opportunity to reflect upon our lives, our heritage, our ancestors and the meaning and purpose of our own existence.

Altars or ofrendas are not for worship but for offering our love and remembering our departed family members.

Day of the Dead is not a sad ritual. It’s a day of happiness because we will be remembering our loved ones. Although when in the graveyard, people assume an introspective attitude.

The Day of the Dead is about love, not fear.

Day of the Dead is not a “strange” ritual. It is very similar to going to a grave and leaving flowers or stuffed animals, lighting a candle to remember the deceased.

It is not a careless or fearless confrontation of death.

The Day of the Dead is a moment to reflect upon one’s life and the cycle of life and death.


This pertinent insight was originally published on Inside-Mexico.com. Our thanks to Vikki Hillman of Merida Expat Services for bringing this passage to our attention. Hillman provides immigration services and other support to foreigners living in Merida or the beach areas of Yucatan.

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