As part of our culture & language acquisition efforts, our family went downtown & watched the kids’ parade that commemorates the event. Beginning at the Cathedral, hundreds of children gather dressed in black, many with skull masks or skulls painted on their faces.
They are joined by people carrying huge paper-mâché skeletons. Most of these skeletons are in traditional costumes & in poses representing typical activities such as carrying water jugs or food baskets.
Together, the children & skeletons leave the Cathedral & march to a nearby park where there’s live entertainment & booths selling sweets.
Of course, all this seems innocent enough, much like Halloween celebrations in the United States. But is it?
When one investigates the culture of Mexico & understands the significance of it all, it takes on a completely new aspect. One that is much less benign & more sinister.
The Día de los Muertos celebration does not point people to Christ or bring God any glory. Instead, it only serves to keep people in bondage to what is in reality a pagan ritual.
For a glimpse behind the curtain of culture, here are some excerpts from Wikipedia that explain the origins & meaning of the holiday:
Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico & by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States & Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family & friends to pray for & remember friends & relatives who have died.
The celebration occurs on the 1st & 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, & the favorite foods & beverages of the departed, & visiting graves with these as gifts.
[People believe the spirits of their departed relatives actually “eat” these offerings. To explain the presence of the offerings after the celebration, people say the spirits only consume the nutritional value of the food, leaving the food otherwise intact. – DP]
Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, & to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl (known in English as "The Lady of the Dead").
In most regions of Mexico, November 1st honors deceased children & infants where as deceased adults are honored on November 2nd. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1st mainly as "Día de los Inocentes" (Day of the Innocents) but also as "Día de los Angelitos" (Day of the Little Angels) & November 2nd as "Día de los Muertos" or "Día de los Difuntos" (Day of the Dead).
Many people believe that during the Day of the Dead, it’s easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living. People will go to cemeteries to communicate with the souls of the departed, & will build private altars, containing the favorite foods & beverages, & photos & memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so that the souls will hear the prayers & the comments of the living directed to them.