Past the Masks – A Look at Dia de Los Muertos

It is October 31st. Children skip through the 600-year old streets of Patzcuaro, Mexico, collecting candy, as families, business owners, and churches prepare for the annual Dia de los Muertos celebration the following day. Vibrant orange marigolds hang from every tree, archway, and sign in sight. The mouth-watering scent of cooking elotes drift across the town square, as traditional dancers bound amidst the hanging globe lights. Patzcuaro is known for its rich and traditional celebration of the holiday, and this is just the beginning.


Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is an annual celebration deeply rooted in Mexican tradition, family values, honoring the deceased, and respecting your elders. The celebration is commonly misunderstood – being incorrectly associated with Halloween, pagan rituals, and costumes. This unfortunate, and inaccurate, perception is likely a result of selective media coverage and pop culture influence. This will set the record straight…

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