Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) is celebrated in Mexico on 1st and 2nd November each year. The first day is called 'Day of the Little Angels' (Día de los Angelitos) and is reserved for remembering children, while the second day is for honouring adults. According to indigenous beliefs, the gates of the Land of the Dead open for one night so that spirits can cross over and rejoin their living relatives. Mexicans spend these days honouring and celebrating family and friends who they believe have passed on to the next life. It is a joyful occasion and an opportunity for people to feel truly connected to their loved ones.
In order to honour the spirits, families traditionally build an altar both at home and at their family’s cemetery, which usually includes: photos of deceased family and friends; large bunches of wild marigolds (called cempasúchil); tall flickering candles; a Mexican folk art called papel picado (where colourful paper decorations are cut into beautiful shapes); sugar skulls covered in glitter and coloured icing as well as a lot of traditional food and drink. Candles and flower petals help to guide the weary spirits to their family’s altar.
People lay their family's favourite foods on the altar to revive the spirits after their long journey and fortify them for their return. These include pan de muerto (‘bread of the dead’); sugar skulls; tamales (corn-based dough wrapped in banana leaf and steamed); mole (a mildly spicy and luxuriant sauce that often accompanies meat dishes); fruit and calabaza en tacha (pumpkin in syrup), as well as hot chocolate, tequila and cigarettes. Many of these foods are also eaten during the festive holiday.
Immerse yourself in this fascinating tradition by tasting our pan de muerto, delicious mole sauce and even take home your very own sugar skull!