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    Day of the Dead and Halloween, two millenarian traditions

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    Day of the Dead and Halloween, two millenarian traditions

    Day of the Dead and Halloween… two traditions thousands of years old, the former 100% Mexican in origin and the latter of Celtic origin but popularized by the United States of America.

    The vicinity of the countries and the proximity of the dates these two traditions are celebrated have created reasons not only to compare them in several occasions, but also to adopt Halloween in many parts of Mexico, thus creating a mixture between our own tradition and that of the Northern neighbor.

    There are those who believe the fact of recreating Halloween in Mexico is a reason to demerit the importance of the Day of the Dead. However, if we look a little deeper we can find several differences between these two celebrations that make them unique and we don’t necessarily have to pick one and leave the other aside:

    The most importance difference is in the essence of each one.

    hqdefaultThe Day of the Dead has as an objective to regale the spirits of our beloved ones who have left this world and who according the millenarian tradition come back on these dates to their homes in order to enjoy the things they liked when they were alive. Far from being a terrifying tradition, it is a placid celebration where the souls of the dead meet again with the people still alive.

    Halloween is a pagan tradition originated about 3 thousand years ago and which has evolved with the years. If it is true that at the beginning it was a collection of terrifying rites and evil spirits evocation, it is nowadays a fun and merry festivity full of sweets, jokes and customs.

    The main activities carried out during each celebration

    On the Day of the Dead the construction of altars is the foundation of the festivity; on these altars are set the objects and food the departed liked the most, as well as ornaments with paper, fruits and flowers, giving out a very colorful and original result. Another activity is to attend the cemeteries to take flowers and music to the tombs where the linterna-de-halloween-calabaza-de-halloween-icono-psd_30-2348remains of the family and friends lie.

    On Halloween people, mainly children, don their customs ranging from fun and tender ones to the really scary ones. Going door to door asking for sweets with the famous phrase “trick or treat” is of the essence at Halloween night.

    Main icons of each celebration

    The skulls and catrinas are the main symbols of the Day of the Dead, along with the sugary little skulls, the bread of the dead and the cempasuchil flower. The huge and round pumpkins of orange color and the witches are definitively what represent Halloween the most.

    Celebrating Halloween does not make Mexicans less Mexicans, as long as we don’t leave aside the importance of the Day of the Dead which as it has been mentioned, is a tradition that has represented our country in the world and which is part of UNESCO’s Intangible World Heritage.

    Angela Ortega (Eng)

    Born in the central region of Mexico, but having lived most of her life in the beautiful state of Nayarit, Angela fell in love with this area’s landscapes and its natural beauty. With the firm conviction from an early age that she wanted to be part of the way tourism was managed in her state and the country at large, she studied a degree in Tourism Management and Development at the Technological University of Nayarit. Immediately following her studies, she immersed herself in the world of hospitality in Puerto Vallarta, an iconic city within Mexico known for its wide range of hotels. Working within this field, she took various positions, which allowed her to develop many skills such as teamwork and great service as well as to learn about the standards of operations at a large hotel complex. After taking a break from the hotel industry for personal reasons, her path met Mexico Boutique Hotels, a company that closely matched her personal convictions, which involve presenting Mexico to the world as a brand that guarantees memorable experiences thanks to its natural beauty and the excellent hospitably of its people who by their very nature provide great service and are excellent hosts. Angela currently serves as Chief E-Concierge and Travel Designer for the aforementioned company, offering travelers the opportunity to live a different experience every day, where attention to details make a huge difference.