Dia De Los Muertos: Families Celebrate Day of the Dead

Many celebrate Dia de los Muertos by wearing sugar skull masks or facepaint.

On November 1st and 2nd, many families in Mexico and around the world celebrate Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Not to be confused with Halloween and its costumed troublemakers, tricks, and candy treats on October 31 — Day of the Dead celebrates and honors those who have passed on, as you can see in the photo gallery below, and has ties to the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on the same dates.


Families gather together to pray, visit cemeteries, and attend festivals and parades honoring deceased loved ones and ancestors. Elaborately decorated masks are worn and faces are painted to look like skulls, which the Aztecs believed were symbols that honored the dead and celebrated rebirth. Many homes set up altars or ofrendas — offerings including photographs, candles, paper banners, marigolds, bread, and other symbolic articles to the deceased —  to remember and honor the memory of those who have passed on.

  • Dia de los Muertos, Zocalo Park in Frontierland 1 of 7
    Dia de los Muertos, Zocalo Park in Frontierland
    Sugar skull with pan de muerto, a traditional sweet egg bread made during Dia de los Muertos.
    Photo credit: Lauren Javier
  • Kids parade 2 of 7
    Kids parade
    The celebration usually includes visiting cemeteries and attending festivals and parades.
    Photo credit: daniel.baker
  • Ballet Folklorico, Riverside California 3 of 7
    Ballet Folklorico, Riverside California
    Photo credit: danorth1
  • Aztec dancers in Riverside, California 4 of 7
    Aztec dancers in Riverside, California
    Photo credit: danorth1
  • Day of the Dead Family Fest in San Francisco, California 5 of 7
    Day of the Dead Family Fest in San Francisco, California
    Photo credit: sfmission
  • Dia De Los Muertos parade in Oaxaca 6 of 7
    Dia De Los Muertos parade in Oaxaca
    Photo credit: Christine Zenino
  • Ofrenda (offering) 7 of 7
    Ofrenda (offering)
    This ofrenda (in South Valley, Albuquerque, New Mexico) was constructed in remembrance of women killed along the Texas/Mexico border. There is one sugar skull for every woman who has been found dead.
    Photo credit: Glen's Pics

Do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos?

Read Stephanie’s posts at Strollerderby and her personal blog Adventures in Babywearing.

image source: LuaCheia72

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