Thanks to the 2017 Disney/Pixar film Coco, the Mexican “Day of the Dead” holiday is more widely known and part of popular culture than ever before. I didn’t know anything about it until I moved to a predominantly hispanic community 28 years ago. It is observed from October 31-November 2 so when I was first introduced to it, I thought it was Mexico’s version of Halloween and because I wasn’t a big fan of the skull and La Calavera Catrina symbols associated with the holiday, I didn’t really pay a whole lot of attention to it in general. I didn’t understand it’s deep historical roots or it’s profound meaning at that time which is why I’m super glad I took the time to learn more about it over the years.
As I understand it, the holiday at it’s core is time set aside for family and friends to gather and honor loved ones who have passed away. Dia de los Muertos (or Dia de Muertos) traditions include building altars to honor the deceased, preparing the loved ones’ favorite foods and visiting their graves with their favorite possessions and gifts. Long ago, the holiday was observed for a whole month but the modern tradition lasts three days with November 1st being reserved specifically for dead children and infants…known as Dia de los Inocentes or Dia de los Angelitos…and November 2nd for deceased adults…and as Coco so beautifully illustrated, it can be done with such color and creativity and enthusiasm!
I have an even GREATER appreciation for the love expressed through the observance of this holiday as I’ve received word that Rudy is being included in some very special tributes this year…
As I was looking closely at Nurse Gina’s altar picture, it dawned on me that we have our own version of an altar!!! We have a space on our living room cabinet where a collection of pics have gathered over the years as our loved ones have passed away…
Well, given that today is November 1st (Dia de los Inocentes) and we’ve already taken “gifts at the gravesite”, I guess the only thing left to do is to whip up some pizza, tomato basil soup and ranch dressing. Love you Rudy! You are remembered and celebrated by many today and we are grateful for the village of friends that still thinks of and loves you too. Big hugs!!!
(P.S. I think it’s interesting to note that Rudy’s original due date was November 1st. He ended up coming a month early…how strange it would be now if his birthday had been November 1st)
4 thoughts on “Dia de los Muertos”
Oh thank you so much for sharing this with us, Trish. I never knew the true meaning of the tradition. and now i will have to watch the movie too. I will keep y’all in my thoughts and prayers today as you reminisce about the good ‘ole times with your loved ones. I love you! melani
What a loving way to celebrate those who can’t be with us physically but who never leave our hearts. Sending love and prayers to all of you, especially Rudy!
I just caught a glimpse of his sparkle as I scanned my fridge photos earlier this morning—Infectious smile of an eight year old toting a red backpack…
Missing your precious boy!