Some foreigners may think that the traditional celebration of Dia Los Muertos is a scary and morbid practice, but over the many years I have spent here in Mexico I have come to love and appreciate this holiday.
From and outsiders point of view seeing the local businesses around Puerto Vallarta prepare for this holiday by showcasing skeletons and skulls, tombstones and altars may seem like a strange way to celebrate the dead.
However, if you remove your judgement and ask around to the reasoning behind the celebration of Dia de Los Muertos you will soon discover that it is in fact a beautiful and honorable way to remember loved ones who have passed on.
I personally think more countries should adopt this tradition as we all experience death and this holiday is a unified way to honor the memories of the dead!
Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the dead) which is celebrated on November 2nd for adults who have passed away and on Nov 1st (Day of The Innocents) for children and infants who left this world too young, is a widely celebrated tradition here in Mexico. It is a way to honor and remember loved ones by keeping their memories alive.
In many Mexican cities and right here in Puerto Vallarta you will notice the streets are adorned with Mexican Folk Art. Designs cut into colorful tissue paper (papel picado) are made into banners are strung up in homes, businesses and across the streets. On the day of November first and second you will find altars (ofrendas) around the plaza and in front of peoples homes dedicated to their loved ones who have left this world behind.
These altars are decorated in different fashions but, the basics are a tombstone replica with the deceased name, year of birth and death, their photo, traditional orange flowers (Marigolds), sugar skulls, Mexican candies, their favorite bottle of tequila and food or deserts.
Families will surround these alters playing the dead’s favorite music, telling jokes, sharing memories and eating and drinking with them. Likewise cemeteries come to life with the traditions of Die los Muertos being carried out and the memories of the dead celebrated by friends and family.
To observe Dia Los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta take a walk around the main plaza in front of The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe between October 31st and November 2nd to see the many altars on display.
Feliz Dia de Los Muertos!
For further reference on this Mexican Holiday (Day of the Dead) check out Wikipedia’s write up by clicking on the link below.