Mexican Culture and American Culture: Celebrating the Day of the Dead
Mexican culture and America culture have many similarities and differences when it comes to death and the afterlife. Similarities include mourning, funerals, wakes, and dressing in black clothing. Some differences are that in Mexico, right after someone dies there is a much longer wake lasts the entire night. The loved one is surrounded by friends and family and is not left alone for a single second. Another difference is that the burial must take place the following day. The reason why is because it is very uncommon for the body to go through the embalming process. Afterwards, Catholics host a gathering for nine days and pray the rosary. It is nine days because that’s how long it takes for the body to decompose and for the soul to reach heaven. In different Mexican states, the novena takes place every year for nine years. Both practices take place where the deceased lived.
Another practice that is culturally different is how remember the dead. Both American and Mexican cultures remember their loved ones on special days like their birthdays or anniversaries. But in Mexico, we practice what is known as the Day of the Dead. On this day, we remember our ancestors and celebrate the life they lived. The practice involves music, dancing, costumes, parades, alters and family gatherings. This celebration takes place every year on October 31st to November 2nd. It is celebrated all over Latin America but mainly in Mexico.
I believe celebrating the dead helps people cope with the loss. It helps them remember them in a positive way and revisit their memories. Growing up, this was the day when I would hear my grandparents’ stories. Like their hobbies, favorite foods and all the challenges they faced coming to America. I do believe celebrating the dead was based or created from society because the tradition can be traced back to the Aztecs. According “Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)” author Enrique Castro, the Aztecs believed that when people die that they travel to the land of the dead. The deceased must complete a challenging nine level journey in order to reach heaven. That is why food was offered, so it can help them on their journey (Castro, 2018). Another important part of this practice is the orange marigold flowers places on the graves. The indigenous believed the smell brings back the dead and allows them to visit our world.
The practice also represents morals because it teaches people to respect their elders, ancestors and culture. Although there may be cultural differences in the way we celebrate those who’ve passed, both American and Mexican cultures honor their loved ones and continue to pass down their stories to future generations.
After reading the three out of five articles; Mexico’s Special Relationship with Day of the Dead, What we can learn from U.S Day of the Dead Celebration, and An Ancient and Modern Festival. All three articles mentioned many similar factual information and descriptions, but included their own statements and details/facts that contrasted with each articles that I read. The main question in two of the articles I read is questioning how El Día de los Muertos became associated within Mexico...
The observations that I made during the experience was the many loud sounds I heard. Some came from the stage which plays music, some from the food cooking, and most were people interacting with others. I smell a lot of delicious food they sold, including beef, tacos, and funnel cake. The day of the dead are known for its food and altar, so I bought a funnel cake, horchata, and a long beef with cheese. I had horchata in the...
Almost all religions and cultures of different countries have their own perception of death. Some think of it as the end of life, some believe it’s part of life, and to others, it’s an exit to another life. Many cultures have regarded the dead with respect and have even designated holidays to honor the dearly departed. During such times, people visit graves, clean tombstones, have food offerings, regale on stories about loved ones who have passed away, and more. At...
Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of our departed loved ones, and the new life that comes from death. The tradition helps us to recognize that death is just the next step in life’s journey, and that no one really dies as long as they live on in our memories. The history of the day traces all the way back to the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that the souls of their ancestors went to an underworld called Mictlān, where...
This past weekend on October 26, 2019, I attended the 36th annual “Viva La Vida Parade and Festival” in Austin, Texas. This event was to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, during this event they had authentic and traditional Mexican food with live music from Mexican artists. What caught me off guard during this entire event was the fact that they had a low-rider exhibition, yes you read that correctly, they had a low-rider exhibition! I...
Culture is the characteristic of a certain group of people that defined things such as what language they speak, the type of religion they are, or the type of lifestyle they have and many other things. When it comes to cultures it’s very different for people in different societies, not everyone has the same culture and especially they do not share the same one. Culture varies in different things such as the foods they eat, again the religion they have...
Due to the media’s prevalence and the role it plays in informing the people and shaping their views, the call for diversity has become important for many. With people realizing the lack of representation of other races, ethnicities, sexualities, and gender in the media they consume, those in charge of what is being created and released are now given the responsibility to make sure that the new content being pushed is out is inclusive. If media companies fall behind on...
On Saturday November 2nd, I went back home to celebrate Dia de los Muertos with my family. That weekend, my ballet folklorico dance instructor hosted the 12th annual Dia de los Muertos event at the Conejo Mountain Memorial Park, located in the city of Camarillo. This community event was free of charge and open to all to support local businesses and food vendors, view the impressive altars made for those who have passed, and of course, enjoy live entertainment. The...
In English, Día de los Muertos means “day of the dead”. The main purpose of this holiday is to honor and remember the dead. The holiday acknowledges the spirits of dead people, and that pleased spirits will provide people with a better life through means like wisdom. Many festivals, memorials, and traditions occur during this holiday for the dead to be honored and remembered. Día de los Muertos is a three-day holiday celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. At...
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