By: Alicia Sexauer
Today marks the beginning of Día de los Muertos which translates literally to All Souls’ Day. It is a three-day celebration of life, honoring those who are no longer with us.
The celebration begins at midnight on Halloween and continues until November 2nd. It has become one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, and celebrations are becoming more common in areas of the United States.
Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos is about celebrating family and loved ones. Every November we take time to remember our dearly departed. Each year the festivities fall near Halloween, however this day isn’t meant to be scary. We are meant to honor family members who have preceded us in death, and for many of us that means someday in the future our celebrations will include furred, feathered, and/or finned family members.
Día de los Muertos is a happy holiday filled with bright colors, sugar skulls, candles, and food, a day for people to gather and remember those who have left this earth. Día de los Muertos encompasses two days: November 1st, the day of the innocents, to honor children; and November 2nd, when they are joined by the spirits of departed adults. The dead are remembered and celebrated with love and joy; to despair is believed to offend the spirits.
Celebrating Day of the Dead means making the favorite foods of your deceased loved ones. If they have a grave you visit them and clean it on November 1st. This signals to them that you want them to visit you. On November 2nd you essentially have a party for them with lots of their favorite music, foods and drinks. By doing this, you are telling them that you love them, remember them, and want them to come visit you again next year.
Please join us in honoring your beloved pets who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge by posting their photos and memories in reply.
How do you feel about home altars for our pets and other family members? Do you celebrate Day of the Dead in your town? We’d love to read your thoughts honoring our family that precedes us in death – including our pets.