The Day of the Dead is a national holiday period in Mexico where families honor those who are no longer with us. Instead of it being a period of mourning, everyone celebrates life with parties all across the country, and also will hold ceremonies such as weddings, since its a time where family tries to get together.
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Just because its a family holiday doesnt mean that there arent larger parties where people get together to have fun. One of the best things people love to do is dress up as skeletons and put up all sorts of decorations that will remind some people of Halloween. Instead of black cats and pumpkins, however, its all about skeletons, and not just white skeletons. Skeleton masks are made and come in many colors, and in some communities such as Guadalajara you can buy both masks and dolls of all types and colors.
One of the most popular places to go for a Day of the Dead celebration is Oaxaca, when shopping is at a premium as many of the locals are buying lots of finery for the family celebrations, and others are setting up temporary stores where they can sell their wares, special foods and garments that only apply to this time of the year.
Next comes the parade, where there are floats and people in all sorts of costumes and masks having a good time, dancing and celebrating like its Mardi Gras. How many people outside of Mexico have seen large, colorful skulls with more skulls on them in many colors, along with things such as butterflies, bees, lizards and multiple colors of flowers?
The final part of the celebration is the visit to the cemetery, and once again this isnt a somber affair. Cemeteries are cleaned and decorated, and families come en masse, light candles, and celebrate loudly. Theres food, drink, and music, and all are welcome to come share in their joy, whether theyre family or not.
Its definitely something different if youre new to Mexico, and you\’ll walk away with a much different sense of how to celebrate life in the death of others. Mexicos Day Of The Dead Celebration!