Day of the Dead Dia de Muertos
Common Misconceptions About
The Day of the Dead Celebration
by May Herz
It is not the Mexican version of Halloween. Mexicans have celebrated the Day of the Dead since the year 1800 B.C.
It is not scary or morbid. There are no images of dead people, ghosts, witches, or the devil.
It is not a cult. This ritual has nothing to do with cults. It is a Catholic Christian ritual intermixed with folk culture. Going to mass is an essential aspect of this celebration.
It doesn’t honor death, but our dead relatives. We welcome the opportunity to reflect upon our lives, our heritage, our ancestors and the meaning and purpose of our own existence.
Altars or ofrendas are not for worshiping but for offering our love and remembering our departed family members.
It is not a sad ritual. It’s a day of happiness because we will be remembering our loved ones. Although when in the graveyard, people assume an introspective attitude.
It is about Love not Fear.
It is not a “strange” ritual. It is very similar to going to a grave and leaving flowers or stuffed animals, lighting a candle to remember the deceased.
It is not a careless or fearless confrontation of death.
It is a moment to reflect upon one’s life and the cycle of life and death.