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What to Know About the Día de los Muertos Festival | MELA

What to Know About the Día de los Muertos Festival

  |     |   San Antonio, TX

Planning to celebrate Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, in San Antonio, Texas? You might be interested in the Día de los Muertos Festival. One of the largest in Texas, this festival is both symbolic and meaningful. Read on to learn what to expect and how to fully appreciate the festival.

Día de los Muertos Is a Celebration of Life

For ancient Mesoamericans, death was a normal part of life’s journey. They believed that death doesn’t end life, but that new life comes from death. Thus, the Día de los Muertos Festival urges you to honor and celebrate the lives of your departed family members and loved ones. As this is a happy occasion, it is filled with music, dancing, floats, and parades with entertainers in colorful and bold costumes. The Día de los Muertos Festival does not fear the dead, it gladly welcomes them.

Día de los Muertos Is Not Connected to Halloween

Halloween and Day of the Dead may share similarities, such as occurring almost at the same time of the year and having similar customs like community gathering and face painting. However, they are not connected. While Halloween has ancient Celtic roots, Día de los Muertos dates back to Mexico and Central America’s indigenous people. The theme of both Halloween and Día de los Muertos may be death, but the festival focuses on showing love and respect for deceased loved ones.

Ofrendas Are the Festival’s Central Component

Ofrendas, or temporary altars, are the centerpiece of Día de los Muertos. Families use these makeshift altars to honor their departed loved ones by adding their pictures, the items owned by the deceased, and other things that remind them of their lives.

The ofrenda’s design covers the elements of wind, earth, fire, and water. For instance, lit candles are meant to assist the spirit’s journey, while traditional foods are offered to nourish deceased loved ones. A pitcher of water is also left out to allow the dead to quench their thirst, while papel picado, or paper banners, are meant to help the souls pass through.

Calaveras Are the Festival’s Most Famous Symbol

The calavera, or the sugar skull, is the most popular image of Día de Los Muertos. You’ll see them everywhere, from the elaborate face paints, sugary treats, and unique costumes. Also, short but humorous calavera poetry is read aloud and shared on radio and television.

Final Thoughts

There are indeed several things to know about the Día de los Muertos Festival in San Antonio, from the skulls and offerings as important symbols to its purpose of celebrating life. Looking for a great place to live with a parade, dancing, live music, and more? Check out MELA Luxury Apartments in San Antonio.

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