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Halloween, Mexican Style: Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican national celebration that falls in the same time period as Halloween. With it’s ubiquitous sugar skulls and floral headdresses, Dia de los Muertos is recognised worldwide, but what exactly is it?

Día de los Muertos is a three day long celebration that, unsurprisingly, honours the dead. It’s about remembering lost loved ones and connecting with your ancestry. Dating back from the Aztecs, the festival is steeped in tradition as well as being a lot of fun. Flying to Mexico for the festivities would be on anyone’s bucket list, but if a plane ride on a whim isn’t an option, here’s 5 ways to celebrate Dia de los Muertos from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Get in character

Dressing up in costume is a big part of many festivals and Día de los Muertos is no exception. Grab your face paint and turn yourself into skeleton, the traditional garb for Día de los Muertos. The traditional costume is called La Calvera Catrina, a female skeleton wearing a flower crown. Not only is this fun, but it doubles up as a great Halloween costume!

 

2. Get your bake on

No celebration is complete without food, and Mexicans definitely take that to heart. Keep in the skeleton theme and make skull sugar cookies, as well as baking the traditional pan de muerto, which represents a pile of bones. Whilst that sounds kind of spooky, it’s a great way to get into the Halloween style spirit. Plus it’s a chance to eat as much Mexican food as possible, so what’s not to love?

 

3. Decorate your house

Get in touch with the true meaning of Día de los Muertos, and make a Day of the Dead altar. These are essentially shrines devoted to the dead, which, although seemingly a little morbid, give us a rare chance to slow down and reflect on loved ones who have passed.

 

4. Mix those drinks

Festivities and parties are often linked, so throw a Día de los Muertos style party, and crack out the tequila to celebrate Mexican-style. For a more authentic celebration, make some Mexican hot chocolate; a spicy alternative to the standard version which will have you wondering why this hot chocolate isn’t as popular overseas.

 

5. Experience Día de los Muertos on the big screen

This link may seem slightly tenuous, but the most recent Bond film, Spectre, begins in the midst of this Mexican celebration. Combine tradition with modern culture and check out what is sure to be one of the most popular films of the year.

 

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