CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – On November 1st, people in Mexico observe Día de Los Muertos, which is translated as the Day of the Dead.
This is a day for Mexicans to welcome the souls of their deceased relatives back for a brief reunion and is not a day of mourning, but an opportunity to portray death in a positive light and as part of human existence, according to the National Day Calander.
When a person dies, it often brings feelings of loss and grief, and most people believe they will never see their deceased loved one again. Some feel their departed loved one will always be with them in spirit, however, and they believe their departed loved one sends signs that they are still there and provides help to them in times of need.
Many Mexicans believe that they can be reunited with their deceased loved ones, which is what the Day of the Dead is all about. It’s a way to encourage departed loved ones to come back for a brief visit, and those who celebrate it exchange mourning for celebration.
The origins of Día de Los Muertos go back to the ancient Aztecs, as they had a unique view of death and saw it as an ever-present part of life. The Aztecs believed a person traveled to a place called the Land of the Dead upon dying. After several years of going through nine challenging levels, their soul could come to rest. This day was mostly celebrated in the rural, indigenous parts of Mexico for several years, but in the 1980s, it began to spread to the cities.
Many people celebrate the Day of the Dead by creating Calaveras, which are representations of human skulls. The skulls are colored and contain smiling faces, to show that death is not scary.
Another way to celebrate is by creating offerings at makeshift alters that contain yellow marigold flowers, photos of the departed, and their favorite foods. These offerings encourage visits from departed loved ones.
WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.