The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere.
Halloween is a fun celebration mostly for children to dress as ghosts and ghouls and delightfully spook neighbors. The Day of the Dead is more personal and familial. It’s aimed at remembering the departed, the loved and unloved.
Today is Halloween, but did you also know that it’s the start of a Mexican holiday called The Day of the Dead or Dia De Las Muertas? As a special tribute to the festive celebration that pays homage to those who have passed on to another life, artist Mark Madden (Madd Grafix) has painted a tribute mural at Cantina Loco in Allentown, as part of a welcome home party for renowned chef Mike Andrzejewski (aka Mike A) who recently took up a post at the restaurant. “Mexican food’s appeal for me is really based in the fact that is so centered around enjoyment and sharing,” said Mike A. “Even the simplest street food elevates flavors that bring comfort and happiness to the diner. It’s about making the most out of ingredients and life.”
This all stems from the ancient indigenous peoples of Mexico (Purepecha, Nahua, Totonac and Otomí) who believed that the souls of the dead return each year to visit with their living relatives – to eat, drink and be merry. Just like they did when they were living.
The festival to mark the return of the dead that would develop into the modern Day of the Dead took place in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, which was around the start of August.
Tempered somewhat by the arrival of the Spaniards in the 15th century, current practice calls for the deceased children (little angels) to be remembered on the previous day (November 1st, All Saints Day) with toys and colorful balloons adorning their graves. And the next day, All Souls Day, adults who have died are honored with displays of the departed’s favorite food and drinks, as well as ornamental and personal belongings. Flowers, particularly the zempasúchil (an Indian word for a special type of marigold) and candles, which are placed on the graves, are supposed to guide the spirits home to their loved ones.
Day of the Dead Quotes
A day grows old as we do. Do not wish death upon it. Let it live, let it love, and only then should you let it rest in peace. – Michelle C. Ustaszeski
We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late. Death comes unexpectedly. How can we bargain with it? – Buddha
In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. – Robert Ingersoll
Even though we grieve at the loss of our loved ones, we find hope through the resurrection of Jesus and His promise that there is life after death. – Anne Cetas
Thinking and talking about death need not be morbid; they may be quite the opposite. Ignorance and fear of death overshadow life, while knowing and accepting death erases this shadow. – Lily Pincus
He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. – Thomas Campbell
A human life is a story told by God. – Hans Christian Andersen
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” – St. Francis of Assisi
Death is beautiful when seen to be a law, and not an accident – It is as common as life. – Henry David Thoreau, 11 March 1842, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson
Death is the gate of life.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out. – Lou Reed, “Magic and Loss”
Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death. – James F. Byrnes
|Day of the Dead 2019||Thursday, October 31, 2019||Saturday, November 2, 2019|
|Day of the Dead 2020||Saturday, October 31, 2020||Monday, November 2, 2020|
|Day of the Dead 2021||Sunday, October 31, 2021||Tuesday, November 2, 2021|
|Day of the Dead 2022||Monday, October 31, 2022||Wednesday, November 2, 2022|
|Day of the Dead 2023||Tuesday, October 31, 2023||Thursday, November 2, 2023|
|Day of the Dead 2024||Thursday, October 31, 2024||Saturday, November 2, 2024|