In the United States Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. In Mexico Halloween is also celebrated but so is Dia de los Muertos. Both celebrations have to do with the dead but they do have their differences.
Here are some of the differences between Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.
First of all, where did they each originate?
For Halloween it is celebrated on October 31 in several countries. It has its roots in pagan celebrations for the end of the harvest season, various festivals of the dead, and the Celtic Samhain festival.
And for Dia de los Muertos it is a Mexican holiday, also celebrated in parts of Latin America and the U.S., to remember and pray for family and friends who have died. It is on November 1.
Many get the two celebrations confused because of being celebrated so closely together in dates. Although the dates are close and they both involve celebrations involving costumes there are more differences that makes each celebration unique.
Dia de los Muertos is mainly a day in which to remember and celebrate friends and family who are dead. Halloween on the other hand is an appreciation of the afterlife and the survival after death. Literal meaning is the night before All Hallows’ Day (aka All Saints’ Day).
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated by a visit to the cemetery where food offerings shaped like skulls are left at the altar along with candles, incense and a picture of the dead person. Halloween is mainly celebrated by Carving Jack o’ Lanterns out of pumpkins, decorating the house with a ghoulish theme, parties, going trick or treating door to door wearing costumes.
There is even traditional food. For Dia de los Muertos Pan de muertos (bread of the dead – skull-shaped bread), candied pumpkins, any favorite food of the celebrated late friend/family member is offered. For Halloween Pumpkin pie, cookies shaped like pumpkins, ghosts or skulls, candy, cakes made like a graveyard are eaten.
Both celebrate the dead and both are enjoyed by millions in many countries. Each has its own charm and uniqueness.