Submitted by Michael Rizzi, Resident Assistant, Southern New Hampshire University
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1 and 2nd. It is an ancient tradition from pre-Columbian times in which indigenous people celebrated the belief that the souls of their departed relatives return to earth to visit the living.
Little “angels” is used to describe the children who have died and whose lives are celebrated on November 1st.
Skeleton figures are often shown smiling and enjoying every day life activities. Calacas are often made of paper mache, clay, plaster, etc., as free standing figurines or in Day of the Dead dioramas.
Skulls often used as decorations and treats throughout the Day of Dead festivities.
From the indigenous Nahuatl language meaning marigold, “flower of the dead,” are used in festivals for the dead since pre-Hispanic times.
Festivities include an offering or gift; also an altar with offerings and decorations created in honor of a departed relative or friend.
Bread of the dead, is baked in human shapes and decorated with pink sugar.
Families gather in the cemetery or grave yard to decorate the graves of their departed loved ones. In the evening families have a “picnic” at the graves complete with food, music, and the sharing of stories.
Cutting paper banners is a form of Mexican art. The designs are typically cut from tissue paper. During Day of the Dead the designs include skeletons.