The Day of the Dead is one of the most popular traditions in Mexican culture. Below is some more information on the history of the Day of the Dead.
One of the most traditional celebrations in Mexico. In Riviera Maya it is known as HanalPixán, the Mayan name for the traditional food offered to the dead. Every year, families in Mexico celebrate the lives of those who have passed away.
The Day of the Dead is an opportunity to remember those who have come before us and pay tribute to them either with classic flowers, delicious dead bread or sugar skulls.
The date of this unusual celebration is November 1st and 2nd.
Cemetery flowers, the aroma of copal, candles, chopped paper and thousands of colors full of life come together to celebrate death.
It a tradition with pre-Hispanic roots that has been adapted over time and to catholic beliefs.Remembering life through death reminds us that although our loved ones are no longer here with us, their spirit always remains.
This is a tradition that tourists who visit Riviera Maya really enjoy thanks to the spontaneity and creativity with which death is disguised. It attracts thousands of visitors to the numerous events and celebrations.
Because of the closeness of the dates, the Day of the Dead is often compared to Halloween. Both are great fun, but there are three main differences between them.
The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1 (All Saints’ Day, dedicated to deceased children) and November 2 (dedicated to the dead ancestors). The origins are pre-Hispanic, accentuated by the arrival of the Spaniards in Mexico who, in an attempt to convert the natives to Catholicism, moved the events to the beginning of November to coincide with the Catholic festivities of the All Saints and All Souls Days.
Since its arrival in the United States in 1840, Halloween (“AllHallowsEve”) is celebrated every year on October 31. Halloween has a Celtic origin in Samhain, based on a belief that the line separating the earthly world from the “other world” became narrower at this time of year, allowing spirits to enter the living world.
Unlike Halloween, the Day of the Dead does not involve trick or treat. Offerings are made at altars to the deceased to celebrate the visit of their soul to the world of the living. People place candles and flowers to guide and attract the souls on their way back to this world. The spirits of close relatives, friends or loved ones then return to enjoy the offerings.
Halloween, on the other hand, involves wearing masks and terrifying costumes to ward off the spirits that return on these dates. By dressing up and creating an unpleasant appearance, people avoid being harmed. The spirits return in an evil form to scare people, unlike the Day of the Dead” when the spirits return do spend a moment longer with the living. Children trick or treat for sweets, and this is a representation how the evil spirits that return to scare usare appeased by the offer of sweets (in olden times they were offered food).
The Day of the Dead uses all kinds of colors and offerings including paper, food and drink and what the deceased used to likein real life. Offerings are often accompanied by portraits and photos of the deceased.
The flower associated with the event is the Cempasúchitl. The intense yellow color and aroma of this flower is to attract and guide the dead to their home.
For Halloween, the houses are decorated. The gloomier, the better to help drive away the evil spirits.
At Princess Hotels we celebrate the Day of the Dead and Halloween at the same time with altars, pumpkin carving, a horror show, trick or treat, fancy dress and traditional cuisine.
Depending on your roots, they are similar but different celebrations, but that is no reason to not celebrate both Halloween and the Day of the Dead in Mexico.
Basically, they are just different ways of looking at the return of the spirits to earth.
Here are some of the benefits of booking your Halloween vacation with Princess Hotels:
As you have seen, both the Day of the Dead and Halloween are two very special celebrations, and at Princess Hotelswe have a really great time. Come and enjoy these two celebrations in one of our Riviera Maya hotels!
This entry is also available in: Spanish