Day of the dead in Chicago: an event of an afterlife

Day of the dead

Día de Los Muertos also called the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition celebrated for more than 3,000 years in Mexican culture. It’s a time when we remind and honor our loved ones who are dead. Meanwhile, people may think this holiday is gloomy, but it is the opposite. It is a celebration that lasts for two days and includes various rich cultural elements that will vary dependent on the region of Mexico.

How is the Altar made?

As a first-generation Mexican of the United States born and grown in the city of Chicago, the Day of the dead celebration has always been my favourite holiday. This Day represents unity in my sense. It is a time when I linked with my festive cultural identity- my Mexican origins and traditional culture- at home with my family members through the most important piece of this dead day celebration, the Altar.

Undoubtedly, the Altar is a staple of Día de Los Muertos. Made in the graveyard or at home, altars are designed to be a present to the spirits that visit within two days; the first Day on November 1, honours kids who are dead, and the second, on November 2, celebrates adults.

Altars include the common items, which are some pictures of dead loved ones, the marigold flowers that are traditionally meant to locate the spirits to the presents with their dark aroma, and water to quench the thirst of the soul after a long journey since the death and sweet bread for the spirits to enjoy. People also like to customize the Altar by adding their loved one’s favourite foods, toys, beverages, drinks, and other items of importance.

Since I can remind every year, my family member and I start preparations for this day celebration in the spring season by planting various pots of marigold flowers at our homes. Then, we enjoy delicious foods, listen to music, do some art and craft, and recall memories with loved ones confirming their spirits are sitting and celebrating that moment with us. This occasion is the best way to celebrate life and death.

Meanwhile, it originated in Mexico city; today, the Day of the dead is celebrated throughout Latin united states and on the other sides. If you are looking at the holidays of Chicago, explore the Day of deadly events and celebrations currently taking place in Chicago’s mini villages and Pilsen, two neighbourhood Chicago villages with large Mexican -American communities.

Day of the dead in little villages of Chicago

Día de Los Muertos Halloween Festival

This day celebration is full of Halloween and Day of dead activities for the whole family! This Day will involve all tricks or tips for treating, food, art activities, {Learn more} and grave decoration. In addition, Dia de Los Muertos and the Halloween festival are celebrated on October 31. This is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the passed away relatives and friends. And every year, Halloween is celebrated on October 31.

The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. It is believed that the spirits of the dead people came back on October 31, also called Halloween. Halloween means nothing but holy evening or All Saints Day. This festival dates back 2000 years.

Try Pan de Muertos (Day of the dead sweet bread)

Pan de muertos is must during this season. Moreover, it is to be placed on the Altar or be enjoyed with hot chocolate and milk. My favourite bakeries are where you can get various days of dead sweet bread.

Day of the dead in Pilsen

Day of the dead exhibit

The national museum of Mexican art celebrates and honours loved ones through the Day of the dead exhibit annually. You can also visit and experience the museum, which is full of altars and art and craft that pays tribute to many people from the United States and Mexico who have lost during these past two years. {Learn more} People have passed due to the covid-19 and other accidents in the last few years.

The yearly act of grieving has long been an important aspect of the annual celebration of life, as it offers a therapeutic method to acknowledge and accept the inevitable. The artist from both sides of Mexico and the United States represents a sense of continuity and culture through this season of remembering lost loved ones.

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