DEATH ISN’T USUALLY A GOOD REASON FOR A RAUCOUS PARTY.
Try telling Mexico that. The widely observed and wildly popular ‘Day of the Dead’ festival is more about a joyous celebration of life than it is a subdued mourning of the dead.
HOW ON EARTH DID THIS COME ABOUT?
It’s believed that the modern Mexican celebrations originated in indigenous traditions and rituals over 3000 years old. By the late 20th century the customs had developed to honour the deaths of children on 1 November and adults on 2 November.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS AT THESE DEATHLY PARTIES?
Families will decorate the graves of their lost loves as well as set up altars in their homes with the deceased’s favourite food, drink, candles, flowers and incense in order to wish them well in the next world. The exuberant celebrations include dressing up in masks and painting faces. The ubiquitous skull motif has become a symbol of the festival, as it’s designed to remind us that no matter what we are in life, we are the same in death.