The History of Día de Muertos
Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

The Latin community has a variety of ways to connect with family. Even after their life departure, many of our communities continue to celebrate our loved ones with food, memories and having a good time together. 

One of these celebrations is the international celebration of Día de Muertos, primarily on November 1 and 2. But where did Día de Muertos — or Día de Los Muertos — stem from?

The history of Día de Los Muertos

This is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink, and celebration.

This holiday is a blend of Mesoamerican rituals, European religion, and Spanish culture, celebrated each year from October 31-November 2. While October 31 is Halloween, November 2 is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.

It’s typically celebrated by making an altar dedicated to your late loved ones. On the unique altar, many put the late loved one’s favorite foods, water, candles, memorabilia, and orange flowers named cempasuchil. Of course — don’t forget to add photos of those who are no longer alive.

My personal way of celebrating the ritual is by cooking my loved one’s favorite food and sharing stories about the person(s) while making it. What better way to celebrate my late family than by laughing and reminiscing with those still present? 

It’s not only celebrated in Mexico though

Other Latin countries that celebrate include: Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Ecuador. The source points out that: “traditions and customs vary per country, but the base beliefs remain the same.” In hindsight, each altar is supposed to be unique and celebrated in its own way.

Do you celebrate Día de Muertos? If so, what unique elements do you add to your altar?