Halloween for Americans is fast approaching. Dia de los Muertos is observed around the same time and is often compared to Halloween and related holidays. This day is a much bigger deal in Mexico than Halloween is in the States. The deep tradition include building private alters to honor the deceased with intricate designs of sugar skulls, marigolds, and the placement of personal possessions of the deceased. The Latin-American custom combines ancient Aztec rituals with Catholicism (from the Spanish invasions).
Unlike holidays relating to death throughout much of the Western World, Dia de los Muertos is truly a celebration. Those celebrating are positive that the deceased would view mourning or sadness as an insult because life should be celebrated since death is just a part of life so it is nothing to be upset about. The dead are considered part of the community during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. It is thought that the loved ones who have passed are just as present as those alive walking down the streets and they have awakened from their eternal sleep once more to share the experience with their loved ones. Parades are held and participants wear bright colors and intricate face paintings. Flowers are worn and involved in alters with decorations sitting alongside skull-painted faces and statuettes of happy, dancing, singing skeletons. Skeletons and skull decorations (known as calacas and Calaveras) are found everywhere during the celebration and are often seen enjoying life! They sing and dance and smile. It is not a somber occasion—it’s a celebration of the lives of those who have passed on. More cultures need to adopt this view on death.
In the US, some elements of the Dia de los Muertos celebration are found in popular culture. Many people are getting sugar skull tattoos or they are decorating things in their home with sugar skulls and dressing up as a calacas or calavera for Halloween.
Mariachi is involved in Dia de los Muertos just like they would be for any other celebration and holiday. Sometimes spun-sugar mariachi musicians (in skeleton form) are found as treats during the holiday— representing the need to balance death with happiness. Native dancers and performers participate in the celebrations on this day, meaning it’s yet another opportunity to hire Mariachi performers to make the day one to remember. Musicians perform at cemeteries, parades, and festivals throughout this holiday so who better than a traditional Mariachi?
If you’re looking for a way to honor the dead, or a way to celebrate life and living, contact Mariachi Alegre De Tucson today. Hurry, because Dia de los Muertos will be here before you know it! We also do quinceneras, weddings, funerals, and more.