While the Day of the Dead is a celebration from November 1st to the 2nd throughout Latin America, celebrations vary from culture to culture. During the course of the celebration Indigenous people honor their late ancestors through dance performances. Dia de los Muertos is a celebration where families welcome back their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes foods, drinks and celebration. In an article Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) by the Enrique Castro states, The Aztecs and other Nahua people living in what is now central Mexico held a cyclical view of the universe, and saw death as an integral, ever-present part of life. The day of the dead is said to be the border between the spirit world and the real world. The border that divides the real world from the spirit world disappears and lets through all of the ancestors pass through. During the brief period, souls are able to return to the real world with their loved ones. In return, the living family members treat their beloved ones with treats they once loved and a celebration.
When the aztecs began the tradition of day of the dead, they were not remembering loved ones who passed. Instead they were worshiping the queen of the underworld. In the article The aztec Origins of Dia De Los Muertos by Kacey Diaz states, According to Aztec legend, Mictecacihuatl was sacrificed as an infant and placed in the underworld to become the wife of Mictlantecuhtli, the king of the underworld. Originally, the aztecs celebrated Mictecacihuatl return with death festivals and traditional dances, to honor her for her protection for the bones that created lives and to seek protection for those who died. Today, the Aztecs celebrate Dia de los Muertos much differently due to the Spanish conquistador and Catholicism. The spanish changed the lives of the indigenous peoples wherever they went, from taking land for the Spanish throne to converting people to catholicism (Castro). The tradition of this holiday have changed from honoring the queen of the underworld to honoring loved ones who have passed. It is a time of colorful festivals and parades, with beautifully painted skulls, marigold flowers, decorated ofrendas and grave visits.
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