First things first, Día de Los Muertos is not the Mexican equivalent of Halloween.
Sure, there are similarities, like costumes, parties, and the time of year, but Día de Los Muertos (or The Day of the Dead) simply doesn’t have the same scary gory creep-factor as our Halloween does. Unless, of course, you find skulls and skeletons and mingling with dead people eerie, then, well…. ok, it’s pretty creepy. Let’s dig up the differences, shall we?
Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun
While both festivities involve death, Día de Los Muertos also celebrates life. Traditionally, the three days (October 31- November 2) of the holiday are meant to pay homage to loved ones who have passed. It is believed that during that time, the barriers that separate the deceased and living dissolve and all are free to be together again. It is common for families to set up an Ofrenda in their homes, a table turned into an altar adorned with offerings of symbolic items that represent relatives and friends who have passed away. This is where everyone, dead or alive, gathers to enjoy food and drink that the deceased would have loved. Probably, definitely, tequila is involved. Talk about lifting your spirits!
Your Sexy Gnome Costume Ain’t Gonna Fly for Día de Los Muertos
During Día de Los Muertos, remember, the whole idea is to honor lost loved ones, so you can’t walk into someone’s intimate gathering wrapped in spiderwebs, oozing with fake blood while revving up a chainsaw. Not only would it be inappropriate, but it would also be very disrespectful. The only thing more taboo for the Mexican celebration might be the scantily clad costume, as you may be in the presence of someone’s late Abuela, and she certainly wouldn’t approve of your re-enactment of Jessica Rabbit, no matter how hot you look.
Putting on a Grave Face
While Halloween is rampant with black and orange, Día de Los Muertos calls for many bright, cheerful colors representing different things depending on which deceased loved one is being honored. Yes, the iconic skeletal face painting is part of it, but again, it’s all full of meaning. The face painting is a personalized tribute to a specific person or people (sometimes a name will be written across a forehead in remembrance) and it also symbolizes openness to accept death as a part of life. The face artwork can be extravagant and bold and often accompanies a vibrant, cheery crown made of flowers. In other words, if you’re celebrating Die de Los Muertos right, you’ll be done to death.
Whether you’re a regular observer, have always wanted to be, or are just mourning the end of Halloween, we’ve got the night for you. Join us on November 1st at Tacos & Beer to get into the spirit of Día de Los Muertos. We will be showcasing some awesome tamale specials, will be serving a scary delicious Pumpkin Mezcal Margarita, and, of course, will have our own Ofrenda set up. You only live once, you don’t want to miss this one.