Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
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Total votes: 387

Day of the Dead

31
by : 
Emma Douty

Halloween – we all know the routine, right? Scary costumes: check. Big, orange pumpkins in the windows: check. Trick-or-treaters: check. Parties in the cemeteries: wait, really? Where on Earth does that happen?

Mexico, that’s where! It’s not just for one night, either. No, these Mexicans sure know a thing or two about partying. For what is referred to as Day of the Dead is actually two days' worth of Halloween celebrations in Mexico, from the 1st to the 2nd November, during which the entire country parties hard in remembrance of the departed. Considered one of the top festivals in the world, Day of the Dead is a spectacularly vibrant celebration, where children and adults alike pull out all the stops to create a fun-filled event that is both spooky and cheerful all at the same time.

It is believed that the souls of the deceased come back down to Earth for these two days (children on the 1st November, and adults on the 2nd), and so families welcome back their loved ones by setting up an altar to them, either in their homes, or in the cemeteries, and often in local restaurants or shops, too. These altars are decorated with orange marigold flowers, candles, photographs, and special Halloween features, such as playful skeleton figures and delicious sugar skulls. Amid these are placed the favourite food and drinks of those who have passed away, to be enjoyed in their honour, as well as special ‘dead bread’, made with dried fruits, and pumpkin soaked in honey. You can see why this festival turns out to be so delectable!

At night, people head to the streets, dressed in scary and outlandish costumes, to take part in the walking parade across town, dancing along with the marching bands. Music can be heard from all around, and the dancing doesn’t stop there. If you make your way to one of the cemeteries, you will find more of a party atmosphere there than anywhere else; the graveyard comes to life! Tombstones are decorated much like the altars, and everyone joins together around these to remember the lives of their loved ones and to make a toast to life itself.

It is this which is precisely the significance of the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico. By welcoming back the spirits of the dead, and in remembrance of them, the people celebrate life and all its vibrancy, through the wonderful Mexican tradition of eating, drinking, and dancing, making it the best fiesta in the world.

Discussion

Do you celebrate Halloween where you live? What do you think of the Day of the Dead?

Comments

mohammed99's picture
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mohammed99 1 November, 2015 - 18:39

Unfortunately we don't celebrate it in my country ,but there are events held at universities and schools.

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cat05's picture
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cat05 21 October, 2015 - 16:01

I don't celebrate Halloween.I don't even know who will celebrate in my country ?
( I guest Vietnam will never has Halloween parties, so sorry children, no candies)

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43 users have voted.
sanaah's picture
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sanaah 2 February, 2015 - 14:52

Halloweennnnn???!! I thought this is only the creation in cartoons...so its true ha? And we dont celebrate it...lets think about this

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Muskaan's picture
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Muskaan 16 October, 2015 - 16:25

Hahahahahahahaha. Really? We dont celebrate it either but still I knew that Halloween exists all thanks to books, internet and television :D

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Xhoideni Dervishi's picture
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Xhoideni Dervishi 12 March, 2014 - 15:00

i can't say we celebrate .... some of us celebrate
there are people in my country , maybe in my age that don't have information of this kind of parties...
what about me??? i celebrate with my friends and my family.

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dzeni's picture
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dzeni 9 March, 2014 - 11:53

In my country people don`t celebrate Halloween but my friends every year have party. They always decorate room with creepy things and make food and give some spooky name. In the evening, after party they scare people. First they wear some costume ( witch, vampire, skeleton...) and then divide into groups. After that they hid and wait someone and then scare her or him. They invite me to do this but I hate that things so I don`t accept.

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84 users have voted.
applejack188288's picture
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applejack188288 2 November, 2013 - 12:06

In Russia no one is celebrating Halloween but specially our and my friend's family celebrate it. Our country doesn't like Halloween. They think that it's really stupid.

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Proud_S's picture
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Proud_S 31 October, 2013 - 22:27

In my country we know a lot about Halloween but we do not celebrate, because celebrating Halloween isn't so much popular in my country.

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aleksr1's picture
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aleksr1 25 October, 2013 - 18:41

In my country we know about halloween, but we don't celebrate it like in some countries. I love Hallowen it is funny. Only my friends and me celebrate halloween in Berane.

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saba's picture
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saba 3 September, 2013 - 18:02

when i lived in australia our school had a great party for halloween and we dressed up like zombies and ghosts and ect it was my favorite event and sometimes we went trickortreating with my friends but sadly in iran there is no such thing as halloween ) :

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SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 21 July, 2013 - 11:25

when my sister and her friends went to our neighbours house to search for candies they shout o them. That let to them a bad taste from their first Halloween

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KLEA B's picture
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KLEA B 18 July, 2013 - 09:04

i celebrate Halloween everyday . you are asking yourself Hoooowww?
Scaring my brother everyday......xoxoxoxox

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101 users have voted.
Azerigirl's picture
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Azerigirl 17 July, 2013 - 09:46

No. We do not celebrate Halloween. But we celebrated Halloween at school last year. İ think this holiday very interesting. So İ love Halloween

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119 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 15 July, 2013 - 14:43

not very much. In Albania is not popular. Only in Tirana, the capital city of Albania, The youths have some private parties.

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 19 March, 2013 - 14:48

We celebrate Halloween in October(31st ), and the kids wear some costumes, for example a witch costume, and they go to neighbor's home and ask for candies. I have never loved that day, because I hate everything like that and the kids with costumes used to annoy me very hard. My cousin, aunt's son, came to my place once with some ugly mask and asked me for chocolate. I was frightened and I didn't recognized him. I was so mad, that even after has apologized to me, I couldn't find it funny.

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MALINE's picture
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MALINE 10 March, 2013 - 17:22

I love day of the dead. I wokw up on November the first and I drink a declicious hot chocolate and a big slide of dead bread and in the afternoon we eat pumpkin with "piloncillo" ( a sugar cone) and the evening we get rather in the altars so we can share wit those who had left.

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111 users have voted.
Irini Real Madrid's picture
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Irini Real Madrid 19 January, 2013 - 18:17

i celebrate halloween in albania
i usually go with my friends on the party and dance all the night

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bucha1's picture
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bucha1 28 November, 2012 - 19:19

We don't usually celebrate Halloween in Latvia too, but many children celebrate Halloween as "sweet night" and they go to ask for candies .

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Lemon's picture
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Lemon 1 November, 2012 - 10:37

Yes, Halloween is not very poplar in Ukraine. But in the town where I live a we have Halloween party with costumes, Jack'o'lantern and stuff like that. This party is very nice because everybody who lives here are invited. This party is happening on Saturday.

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Simon's picture
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Simon 2 November, 2012 - 02:11

Thanks Lemon. Sounds interesting. Nothing special happens in Malaysia, where I live. Most schools hold a fancy dress party or disco and the students dress up in Halloween costumes. 

Any other experiences of Halloween from around the world????

Simon (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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133 users have voted.
LiliyaM's picture
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LiliyaM 30 October, 2012 - 07:08

No((((We don`t celebrate Halloween in Ukraine(((((((It`s so terrible((((But me and my friends make parties without costumes(((
I think,that Halloween-very good tradition)))Many costumes,witches,zombies and vampires look very funny and sometimes smooky)))
I love Halloween))))
P.S. My friends said,that I like a witch;)

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137 users have voted.