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All About the Holidays: Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)

2 minutes

(male narrator) October 31 marks the beginning of Día de los Muertos-- people dressing as skeletons, spirits parading through the streets in cities and towns, children eating candy treats. It's not Halloween. It's Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. Celebrated mainly in Mexico and the U.S., it's a three-day event coinciding with the Roman Catholic holidays All Saints Day and All Souls Day on November 1 and 2-- a celebration to remember deceased loved ones, honor ancestors, and to celebrate life. The Day of the Dead began over 3,000 years ago as a month-long ritual to give thanks for the harvest. The Aztecs publicly displayed human skulls to honor the dead. When the Spaniards conquered Mexico about 500 years ago, they tried to outlaw the holiday, but the celebration refused to disappear. Eventually, the ancient traditions blended together with Spanish holidays. Today Día de los Muertos is three days long. To celebrate, people put flowers on their loved ones' graves and create altars with photos, food, and special objects. On the second day, people gather to dance, sing, and feast. And on the final day, some people parade in the streets dressed as skeletons. The traditions provide comfort to people who have lost friends or family. For many people, it is one way to remember and celebrate the cycle of life. How would you honor the memory of someone who has passed away?

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With roots in ancient Mexico, the Day of the Dead now includes multiple cultures in Mexico and the United States. This colorful three-day event of costumes, food, and dance honors loved ones who have passed away. Part of the “All About the Holidays” series.

Media Details

Runtime: 2 minutes

All About the Holidays
Episode
1 minute
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 1
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 2
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 3
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 4
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 5
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 6
1 minute
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 7
1 minute
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 8
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8