The traditions of the Día de muertos: from sugar skulls to bone-shaped bread
November 2nd is the Day of the Dead, Día de muertos, in Mexico. The day involves religion and a combination of traditions from two continents, which is the foundation of Latino culture, as we can see through this EDSITEment-reviewed resource (with multimedia and lesson plans), When Worlds Collide, at http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/when-worlds-collide.
The tradition of the Day of the Dead, November 2nd, shares some similarities with the tradition of Halloween, a day so well known in America. You can learn more about both of these traditions through the EDSITEment feature on these two cultural celebrations, Halloween and the Day of the Dead, http://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/origins-halloween-and-day-dead.
Traditions of the Day of the Dead include the building of altars to those who have departed, as can be seen on this website, http://www.diademuertos.com/ . The altars often contain decorations, flowers, photos, food for the celebration and candles. This is all prepared in anticipation for the visits of those who are departed to spend time with their relatives.
More information on the practice of building altars can be found on a great number of resources. For instance, students may be excited to learn that this practice can be seen followed with alacrity in many parts of the United States. For instance, you can explore this practice by visiting this website in which students can see a high school in Texas celebrating the Days of the Dead, http://art.unt.edu/ntieva/aps/north/dead.htm.
The world-renowned Peabody Museum of Archaelogy and Ethnology also has a great collection of resources on the Day of the Dead and all the cultural practices surrounding this special day for Mexican culture. This can be found at: http://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/287 .
Will you introduce your students to this cultural event this year?