Mexican Day of the Dead: Why It Is Celebrated?

By: Mark Lopes

Mexicans are unique; they enjoy a special relationship with death. According to writers, they embrace it, play with it and even go to sleep with death. If this explains something, that is nothing less than their one-of-a-kind relationship with mortality. If you are not willing to get to know its history, you are never going to understand it.
Why Day of the Dead?
Several factors may be responsible for this kind of a celebration. Here is an outline of some of them.
• A tumultuous past: The people of Mexico were familiar with unnatural death at every phase of their development. It can be said that their closeness to death began from the time of the Spanish conquest. To the Spaniards, Mexicans were a bunch of uncivilized inhabitants. Civilizing these barbaric people required harsh punishments. For this reason, those who refused to become Christians or to subject to the priests were brutally punished and even killed. When combined with the poor health conditions prevalent among the Natives, death became an order of the day in the region. The Great Revolution and the dominion of the neighboring countries too are believed to be responsible for the inhabitants’ close proximity to death.
• Belief in life after death: The Aztec people’s belief in a life after death too may have led them to celebrate death. For them, dying is a cycle. When a person passes away, the soul is transferred into another form of existence. They also believed that during the crop-harvest season, their ancestors come back to earth to spend some time with their loved ones. All the festivities of the occasion are arranged with a view to welcome them.

The colors in Mexican Day of the Dead

The colors themselves are powerful enough to make Mexican Day of the Dead a spectacular sight. When the decorations and all the festivities get added to them, Mexico becomes a true paradise for tourists all over the world. The coffins, skulls and skeletons may appear horrific for a first-time visitor. But, you should understand that they are not meant to scare. They just represent death in its entirety. The apparent end of a life is not lamented upon, but celebrated in the best possible way. Given below is a small outline of the colors being used and their symbolic meaning.
• White: Purity
• Pink: Festivities
• Purple: Pain, grief and loss
• Red: The blood of life
• Yellow: This is the color of the Marigold flower. It represents death. Mexicans believe that the smell of this flower guides the spirits to earth from their world. It also guides them back when the time allotted for them on earth is over.


Day of the Death is celebrated in almost all parts of the US. But, it is a national holiday in Mexico. And, if you are someone planning a vacation in the area, the first week in November is the best time. You would be able to witness thousands of year’s old tradition coming to life here. Mexican Day of the Dead festivities are unique in all respects. An opportunity to be a part of the celebration is sure to be there in your mind all your life.

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2014 The day of the Dead event will be organized at Old Mission San Luis Rey at Oceanside, CA in October 26 from 10 am to 05 am.

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