Day of the Dead Cultural Articles


Celebrating the Day of the Dead
Since pre Columbian times, El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead has been celebrated in Mexico, as in other Latin countries. is the day in which the living remember their departed relatives.


Common Misconceptions About the Day of the Dead
It is not the Mexican version of Halloween. Mexicans have celebrated the Day of the Dead since the year 1800 B.C...


La Ofrenda
Ofendas are an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations. The word ofrenda means offering in Spanish...
food is specially prepared for the souls.


The Day of the Dead Offering in English
The sound of the rain, the smell of wet earth, the heat of fire, the color of the sky glowing in the afternoon and the taste of hot coffee: all sensory experiences we go through our life on earth.
Day of the Dead Folk Art

bullet The Day of the Dead Offering in Spanish
El sonido de la lluvia, el olor de la tierra mojada, el calor del fuego, el color del cielo arrebolado en la tarde y el sabor del café caliente: sensoriales experiencias .... a través del recorrido por la vida terrena que transitamos.
bullet La Llorona in English
The legend of La Llorona.
Dressed in white, with her loose hair; this woman still makes children as well as old-timers tremble with terror, from the lowlands of the Bajío region and even to the southeast of Mexico. She’s “La Llorona”- (The Weeping Woman).
bullet La Llorona in Spanish
Esta antigua leyenda es la que todo niño mexicano sabe por boca de su abuelo o por la de algún compañero de la escuela que ha querido jugarle alguna broma.
bullet La Llorona One Woman Many Stories
The streets were left deserted. It was then that the darkness and the silence were torn by the long and distressing wails of a woman. “Oh, my children”...
bullet La Llorona Una Mujer Muchas Historias
Entonces, la oscuridad y el silencio se rasgaban con los largos y dolorosos lamentos de una mujer. "¡Ay, mis hijos"

Day of the Dead Glossary  Altar de Muertos The offering that the family sets for their dead relatives. Arco Decorated arch sometimes placed on the graves or on the altar de muertos.....


Teacher Suggested Activities
I've taught my Spanish classes about Day of the Dead...  Then I invite them to think about a person they'd like to celebrate...


Mexican Proverbs & Riddles 
Hay más tiempo que vida There is more time than life.   Se me subió el muerto....



Mexican Recipes:

           *Pan de Muerto  
Knead the mixture on a floured board for 10 minutes....Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to rise until it has doubled in size.....On top put some strips of dough simulating bones, and a little ball (tear).

           *Easy Recipe! Calabaza en Tacha
Calabaza en Tacha
is another traditional dessert, that is prepared during the Fiestas de Muertos.  It is very easy and delicious!



Crafts for the Day of the Dead

          *Decorate a Paper Calavera
Click and print .....Color or decorate with sequins, buttons, threads..
          *Make A Day of the Dead Skeleton Puppet
Click on the pictures to enlarge..Then print each one.....Cut the parts of the skeleton.
          *Sugar Skulls Recipe & Interview with Artisan
I have to start early in the year so I am ready for the Day of the Dead  fiestas....Following is the recipe for Sugar Skulls:    2 cups powdered sugar....1 egg white...



José Guadalupe Posada: Creator of La Catrina
José Guadalupe Posada
, an ingenious artist, lived during one of the most turbulent times in Mexico...capture the essence of this turbulence in his lithographs ...the icon of Revolutionary Mexico.


bullet La Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres
created a special place in the Dolores cemetery of Mexico City to honor all the Mexicans who gave “prestige to the Nation.
bullet Teaching In Mexico:Halloween & Day of the Dead
Halloween, as it is celebrated in the United States, is a holiday, which derived from the Druids...Mexico’s Day of the Dead has remained much more traditional, though Halloween is often celebrated here now as well. 

A Day of the Dead Story: Those Good Old November Days
“Grandma, when will we go to the market to buy the papel picado"(paper with cut-out figures)? ....


Pre-Hispanic Poem About Life & Death
....Will we live again? Your heart knows this: We only live once!


Those Sparkling Sequined Eyes:Sugar Calaveras
These are the calaveritas, the sweetest and most popular of all the Day of the Dead offerings. These mischievous characters that appear only in November .....

bullet Juan Rulfo: The Sound of Death
“Have you heard the cry of the dead ?”  asks Juan Rulfo through the voice of Doña Eduviges in his masterpiece Pedro Páramo.  If your answer is no, prepare yourself. 
bullet Juan Rulfo: El Sonido de la Muerte Spanish
“--¿Has oído el llanto de un muerto?” pregunta Juan Rulfo en la voz de Doña Eduviges en su obra cumbre Pedro Páramo. Si tu respuesta es no, entonces preparate,

Janitzio Song  by Agustín Lara
Son las redes de plata un encaje tan sutil mariposas que duermen en la noche de zafir...
Silver nets of such a delicate lace Butterflies that sleep during the sapphire night..


Can you guess what the typical headline on every newspaper in Mexico on November 2 is? ....You couldn’t guess? Well, I’ll give you a clue.


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Join Inside Mexico's Mailing List


Inside Mexico welcomes contributions to our site. Please contact:

                                               Available Videos:

Celebrating the Day of the Dead

Available: DVD & VHS  English & Spanish


Day of the Dead in Janitzio
Available: DVD & VHS  English & Spanish