Day of the Dead honors loved ones

Is Día de Los Muertos the same thing as Halloween? The short answer is no. Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead constantly gets confused with Halloween and its festivities.
Día de Los Muertos is about honoring those who have passed. Primarily observed in Mexico, this holiday is celebrated on Nov. 1-2. Nov. 1 is dedicated to honoring children who have passed and Nov. 2 honors adults who have passed.
This holiday consists of building memorial ofrendas, holding festivals, and enjoying feasts. Marigolds are typically associated with this holiday. The bright orange hues and the fragrance from the flowers is said to attract the departed souls to their ofrendas.
Burroughs High School Spanish Teacher Lilian Ramirez emphasized the significance of this day.
“The Day of the Dead — el Día de los Muertos — is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion in the form of ofrendas that includes food, drink, and celebration. It’s a blend of Mesoamerican ritual,” Ramirez said.
Ofrendas are altars with several different offerings. These offerings include food, toys, and objects that belonged to that person. The idea behind the ofrendas is for the spirits to come over to the other side and enjoy all of their favorite things that they can’t partake in after they pass. The ofrendas allow the spirits to recharge before continuing on their journey.
When researching Día de Los Muertos, I asked my mom about the day. She reflected on when her family still lived in Mexico.
“My mom would set up ofrendas on the table for my grandparents who passed away when she was sixteen years old,” she said.
For my own grandma this holiday was very important. It was a way to feel the presence of her parents and honor them.
As we can see, el Día de Los Muertos is not Halloween. This holiday is very important to those who have lost family members and offers a way for them to feel close to them again.