The Day the Dead Live

Common misconception on a widely celebrated Latin American holiday.

“Día de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores,” according to nationalgeographic.org.

 

Both holidays, Día de los Muertos and Día de los Inocentes, are very well-known around Latin America. Día de los Inocentes is celebrated on November 1st whereas Día de los Muertos on November 2nd.

 

The difference of the two holidays is what they honor. “In most regions of Mexico, November 1st honors children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2nd,” according to catholic.org.

 

Traditions are important in order to establish something culturally stable. Festivals are the most known form of celebration. The festivals usually include “live music and dance performances, traditional food, hands-on crafts, and art exhibits,” stated by lasclex.org.

 

People fulfill Día de los Muertos in more meaningful ways than attending parades. It includes “leaving food out, making big alters, eating the bread, and the sugar skulls,” said Oxnard High School junior Emily Hernandez. Traditions done at home are just as important as the big celebrations.

 

Along with well-known traditions and celebrations comes misconceptions. “A lot of people confuse Día de los Muertos for Halloween, they are completely two different things,” said OHS Spanish teacher Mr. Erick Garcia. Not only are they celebrated on different days but they fulfill different purposes because according to diffen.com “[Día de los Muertos] remembers and celebrates friends and family that are dead” and “Halloween is an appreciation of the afterlife and the survival after death.”

 

Another common misconception is that Día de los Muertos is about evil. People might think that since death is being praised that there are bad things that happen. “Glorifying death might seem a tad morbid to those not familiar with the holiday, but Day of the Dead brings the advent of death to light, making the concept of “the end” less scary,” stated by abcnews.go.com. People have false impressions about why the holiday is celebrating death.

 

Becoming more aware of what happens in other countries is good. A Spanish cultural class is where you will learn about the celebrations and traditions that Spanishspeaking countries have. “I will be passing on this cultural celebration so when they see people celebrating, my students are more educated, not only academically but also culturally,” said OHS Spanish teacher Mrs. Celia Garza.