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Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that celebrates people who have passed away. It is usually celebrated the night of November 1st up to November 2nd. It is a holiday in which families gather to create altars remembering their loved ones. The altars usually have pictures of the departed person, skull candies, food that the person liked, "pan de muerto" or bread of the dead, flowers, among other things. Some people really take a lot of time decorating the altars.The altars are usually made at the cemetery or the person's home. It is believed that the souls of the departed come visit these altars because they have heard the prayers of the person on earth. There are also many organizations who have events in which they make altars for famous people who have passed away and who are well-known. A common Mexican celebrity who people enjoy making altars of is Pedro Infante.I personally have been to events in Juarez in which they have displays of various altars. Some of these altars are so creative that I could have never come up with such ideas.

Although Dia de los Muertos, is a well-known holiday it is sad to learn that it is a dying tradition in certain parts of Mexico (especially in northern Mexico). Even though students and professionals get the day off to celebrate this holiday, many people do not celebrate it at all. I have a lot of family in southern Mexico and they never celebrate it. I personally have never celebrated this holiday. It is even more common that Mexican-Americans living in the U.S. like myself who have assimilated to the American culture don't celebrate this Mexican tradition. To me, it kind of feels like it doesn't exist because I don't really celebrate Mexican holidays. This to me is sad. However, it is even more sad to learn that a lot of Mexican-Americans don't even know the existence of this holiday. I hope that through this blog post more people can learn about the existence of Dia de los Muertos and to learn about its true meaning.

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Comment by Marisol Guzman on October 28, 2010 at 9:57am
It is actually very fun and easy to make your own Dia de los Muertos altar! Our Club Latinitas girls in the El Paso, TX area are making some this week and they will be on display at two different Dia de los Muertos Festivals. Those of you living in the El Paso area should try and make it out to these festivities: one will be this weekend- Oct. 30 & 31at Centro Mayapan at 3:00pm, and the other will be on Tuesday Nov. 2nd at La Fe Cultural & Technology Center at 5:00pm. Go check out these beautiful handmade altars and learn more about this unique Mexican holiday!!


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