This year Salsa Central Denver celebrates Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead on Nov 1 at the Denver Turnverein. The party will feature dance lessons, performances, dancing and great food and desserts. We thought it might be nice to provide some background on the holiday.
What is the Day of the Dead all about?
The origins of the event go back to the Aztecs and was observed by the Spaniards when they arrived in Mexico in the 16th century. The Spaniards thought it was sacrilegious but the festival survived none-the-less. It’s celebrated throughout Mexico and in many communities in the United States. It’s now a blended combination of Aztec and Catholic ritual and loosely connected to All Saints Day and All Souls Day on the Catholic calendar. The event is celebrated on Nov 1-2.
It’s a Party—for Living and the Dead
The theory is that the dead are unhappy with mourning and sadness. Día de los Muertos celebrates the life of the dead with food, drink, and parties. In Mexico many people celebrate at the grave yard. The belief is that the dead community joins in on the celebration. Some believers think that souls of dead children reunite with their loved ones on October 31 for 24 hours and comeback to enjoy the party. Dead adults join the party on November 2.
Alters, Skulls, Flowers
Colorful alters are often set up in homes to celebrate the holiday. They are decorated with photos of the dead, breads, treats, sugar skulls, sodas, tequila—or pretty much anything that might make our dead friends happy.
Though Día de los Muertos happens around Halloween—it’s not the same. It’s not scary, it’s all about celebrating those who have passed.