A lot of people around the world tend to confuse these two holidays, and we get it, they have a certain resemblance when it comes to decorations, but they are very different regarding the meaning and significance. Halloween is a holiday to play tricks on your neighbors and for kids to ask for candies to random strangers while dressed like monsters and witches. But the day of the dead has deeper values in their society.
Day of the Dead
Día de los Muertos, is a holiday originated in Mexico that’s mainly celebrated in America in November 1st and 2nd and commemorates and honors all deceased relatives and friends. During these two days the dead come back to earth and pay a visit to those who survived them. Families clean cemeteries and graves and prepare them for the celebration by decorating them with candles, flowers, and mementos of each person they want to honor, like pictures, their favorite foods, to entice the dead to come back home. This day allows people the remember and thank the dead. Families usually gather at the cemetery and talk about this people they’re honoring, talk about their lives, share anecdotes and embrace their lives here on earth, allowing them to reflect on the essence of life and enabling them to come together as a family by talking about their ancestors, their family line, and all those loved ones who are now dead. Rural communities commemorate this day more intensely, they usually take it to the heart and give their best to prepare for this holiday, engaging in the celebration by replicating what the dead person did for a living when they were alive. This holiday resonates in more than the partying and decorations, people gather around to celebrate the lives of their dead.
A contraction for “hallows’ eve” is a holiday that’s celebrated on October 31st, on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. This holiday is to commemorate and remember the dead, including martyrs, saints and all Christian departed. This holiday is thought to be a reimagining of the ancient Celtic harvest festivals “Samhain”.This holiday’s activities are mainly Trick-or-Treating, costume parties, pumpkin carving, playing pranks, visiting escape rooms or haunted attractions, watching horror films, telling scary stories, lighting bonfires.
The importance of Halloween varies from one country to another, for example in Ireland and Scotland, kids usually dress up, they have parties, and include firework displays. In Britain kids play practical jokes. In America, the first celebration consisted in “play parties”, public events were people celebrated the harvest and neighbors would share stories of the dead, dance and tell each other’s fortune, then Americans began to dress up, borrowing this from the Irish and English traditions, and go from house to house asking for food or money.
While these two holidays coincide in dates and seem similar. The Day of the Dead is a holiday that celebrates and honors the dead, Halloween is one where you’re afraid of them. For the Day of the Dead people usually dress up as skeletons with colorful skulls to resemble their dead. For Halloween people disguise themselves as witches, monsters, mummies, to hide from those.