Saturday, October 24, 2009

Día de los Muertos-Day of the Dead

It is important to my husband and I that our sons grow up not only bilingually, but also biculturally. That is why we have decided to celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. What is Day of the Dead? It is nothing like Dawn of the Dead as my high school students guess every year. (no zombies!) In fact, Day of the Dead celebrations more closely resemble Memorial Day in the United States than Halloween. To understand this holiday you must first understand how the people of Mexico's view of death differs from the view of death in the United States. In the United States we generally fear and do not want to talk about death. In Mexico, death is not the scary part, but being forgotten after we pass away IS scary. Therefore, every year our friends and family who have died are remember and honored for two days during the celebration of Day of the Dead.

Click here for a simple list of facts about Day of the Dead provided courtesy of the Smithsonian.

If you would like more detailed information about the history and customs of Day of the Dead, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Day of the Dead to teach your child (or just for yourself) check back each day this week. This is the planned schedule of post for the week:

Monday- General facts about Day of the Dead
Tuesday- Books that we are reading about Dead of the Dead.

Wednesday- Crafts/Decorations

Thursday- Toy post with MckLinky(not Day of the Dead related.) Click here to find out more.

Friday- Day of the Dead activities to do with your child.

Saturday- Food of Day of the Dead


  1. I can't wait to see your posts. We are a Mexican-American family but we don't celebrate Day of the Dead. Unfortunately, my side of the family is very Americanized, we eat Mexican food, dance the dances, wear the flag and little else. My husband's family is still pretty traditional Mexican but his parents weren't really big into celebrating holidays. His mom would set up a small shrine and leave out food for Day of the Dead.

  2. Very happy I found your blog! That is exactly how we would like to raise our song and future children....I can't wait to see all that you have planned for the week :)

  3. Do you have a lesson that you do with your students? I tried various things over the years, but I never found a lesson that I liked. I think if I had to do it over again, I'd make cempachulis (I'm sure I spelled that wrong--but I'm thinking of the marigold like flowers they use to decorate the gravesite) out of tissue paper and hang them all over the classroom.

  4. Hi Adriana,

    I quite get what you write about the importance not only of 2 languages but 2 cultures - we're a bilingual household too (Dutch/English, living in the UK) and have made a decision to celebrate Dutch customs too. Halloween isn't a big thing in the Netherlands, but later in November we have Sint Maarten's where kids make lanterns and visit neighbours for treats.

    Thanks for visiting Playing by the book and entering the giveaway! Hope to see you again soon over there :-)



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