Dia de Los Muertos

Today is Dio de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.

From Wikipedia, the Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that “focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration when eating and partying are common.”

This year, I’ve joined with other widow bloggers around the world to celebrate our spouses’ lives on Dia de Los Muertos. Inspired by the sweet Fresh Widow, we’re honoring and remembering our loved ones by creating ofrendas, or offerings, on our own small alters. See this post from Supa Fresh to see all of the things we’ve been doing.

Here at our place, I’ve just finished creating a sugar skull (I’ll post pictures later!) and am getting started on making some marigolds. Our ofrenda is already partially set up with items like pictures, candles, and other things. I’ll add some more as the afternoon continues and tonight I’ll complete it with the sugar skull and marigolds. My sister and her husband are coming over and we are grilling burgers and drinking beer (with both offered on the ofrenda as well, of course!) and watching Metalocalypse, hehe. The Hubs will definitely be here in spirit :D

I must add this side note: Some of you may not understand why I am taking part in a Mexican holiday, creating altars and other things that seem unusual to you. For me it is not about religion, although I absolutely do respect the history and meaning of this holiday. For me this is about taking an opportunity to honor my husband, to share his story and his life and most of all his spirit. I believe his spirit is still around me (and all his loved ones), guiding me and soothing me and protecting me. And if I can make his spirit happy by offering him a burger, a beer, and a couple of paper flowers, then I’m happy too. <3

Check back later tonight or early tomorrow for a picture post from our Dia de Los Muertos!

Nearly every religion has a holiday for honoring the dead, from the ancient Greeks and Romans on up to today. There’s nothing wrong with participating in rituals that have meaning for you – as long as you do it with respect, it’s not appropriation.

Religious or not, as far as I can tell, you are respecting the tradition of Dio de Los Muertos – and I think it’s lovely.

Julie K. Rose

I think it’s lovely and very respectful. It’s coming from the heart, and that’s what ritual/holidays are a conduit for anyway.

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