I will tell you something that’s not really a secret, but you may not know. My human doesn’t really care much for Halloween — she doesn’t like cheap candy or noisy children, and her favorite character to dress up as is herself. But she adores the Day of the Dead. It’s a holiday that’s bright and mystical and magical, all at the same time. And it’s part of her heritage as someone who is part Mexican (technically she is half Hispanic, but not all of that is Mexican), and who grew up in Los Angeles.
Día de los Muertos has its origins in Aztec times. When the Europeans came and forced their religion on the natives, they didn’t accept it wholeheartedly. They took many of their own holy days and symbols and adapted them to give the appearance that they were practicing the European religion. Originally this holiday was celebrated in early summer, but it got changed to coincide with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, November 1 and November 2.
The Day of the Dead is a way to celebrate those who have gone before. Instead of being sad and mournful, it is colorful, with good food, good memories, marigolds, the famous sugar skulls, and other traditions, like cleaning up and decorating headstones and plaques at the graveyard. The first day, November 1, is to honor children and babies who have died. It’s often referred to as Día de los Inocentes. November 2 honors adults who have passed on, and is the actual Día de los Muertos.
Día de los Muertos is not a sad or mournful holiday. It is a way to celebrate the magic that those who are gone have brought into your life. It’s a way to connect with spirit and with forces that can’t be seen, and which science has yet to fully explain. If you are Mexican or from parts of Latin America, it is time to spend with family and a reminder to treasure those close to you. For my human, the people she is closest to are not blood relatives, but she treasures them just the same.
I hope you take some time to honor those in your past, and celebrate them.
I do love both Halloween and dia de los Muertos. I think it is a beautiful tradition. I live in west Texas.
You look Fabulous Summer,xx Speedy
The Dash Kitten Crew says
This is a lovely thing. I did not know much about it beyond the sugar skills. Although we did see a display of painted skulls in the Saguaro, Scottsdale when we visited Arizona, I will see if I can find it!
Lola and Lexy says
Mommy heard about this day before, but never really knew any details about it. Now she LOVES it! She believes in celebrating the lives of those who have passed away instead of living a life in mourning. That’s what she does for her parents.
You have educated many , including us, of this day. Thanks!
Nice pictures, Summer!
Fur Everywhere says
I love that this day celebrates those who have passed on instead of mourning them.
Dia de los Muertos is such an awesome holiday. I remember celebrating it with friends growing up in L.A.
Summer, it was thoughtful of you to take some time to share your culture and take a few moments to honor the kitties who came before.
William's Kith & Kin says
We love Day of the Dead! We love your pictures, too, Summer!
I had no idea of the history of the day. Pretty cool stuff!
THe Island Cats says
We never knew what the Day of the Dead holiday really was until a couple of years ago. Before that we thought it was something spooky. But now we know what a wonderful holiday it is…one to remember those that came before.
Interesting article aside – these photos are FABULOUS!
We learned a lot about this holiday from you today Summer.
Kitties Blue says
Mom did not know about the special day for the children. She’s not a huge fan of Halloween but does give out candy. We had a super big crowd of trick or treaters last night. We like the idea of celebrating those who have left us. And they definitely don’t need to be family to be loved and missed. Here’s to remembering all those who have left us. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo
The Swiss Cats says
We learnt a lot about this celebration, thank you ! We celebrate the Toussaint here today, All Saints’Day. Purrs
Ellen Pilch says
Very nice post Summer. I knew it was a day to remember those that have gone before us, but I did not know there are 2 days and it is a celebration.
The kitties of purring pines says
We don’t like Halloween either…. Thanks fur telling us about your special holiday. It’s good to remember those who’ve gone before us…..
Sue Brandes says
Thank you for telling us about this holiday.
Craig s. c. okajima says
Summer, I have a friend named BJ. He’s 5’6″, 375 pounds, and he loves cats!
He worked in a church office, and adopted a cat who hung around the church, and named him “El Gato.”
Melissa & Mudpie says
At first I thought the Day of the Dead was quite morbid, but the more I read about it I realized it’s actually quite beautiful.
It is interesting to hear about, and much nicer to celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us.
Our mommy is not a fan of Halloween either. We’re half Mexicat so we appreciate the tradition of Dia de los Muertos though! Mommy thinks the skulls are freaky but the ideas behind the day make up for that.
TONYA WOODRUFF says
Thank you for sharing this! Hope you have a happy celebration!
Random Felines says
we think that taking memories and remembering the “happy” is a much better memorial. we didn’t realize it was actually 2 days…interesting
I don’t like the noisy high pitch squeals of excited wee ones either. What fun day you and the female human had
Hugs madi your bfff
Mr. Chivers, Greyson, and Tabitha says
We love your beautiful pictures today and the story behind this wonderful day. Mom is of Hispanic descent and she treasures this day too. Happy Dia de los Muertos everyone! Purrs
Toby and Leia says
You explained this very well.
HaHnnah and Lucy says
We don’t care for Halloween even if it is our Mum’s birthday!!
Margaret Elmendorf says
That is very interesting and sounds like such a good idea. That was nice hearing about this celebration.
Brian Frum says
We agree, we are not Halloween fans either but we do like to honor those who have come and gone.
The Florida Furkids says
Thanks for telling us that….we never quite understood it.
The Florida Furkids
Mickey's Musings says
That was most interesting.
WE did not really understand the true meaning behind this celebration.
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ
The Poupounette Gang says
Thank you for telling us about this interesting celebration, Summer. We’re not Halloween fans either which is easy enough, as it’s never taken off here.