The Day of the Dead in America

Nov 1, 2019

We usually see death and dying as a somber time, but it can be a time of celebration for others. While Americans are observing Halloween, Mexico is celebrating the Day of the Dead. The multi-day holiday gathers friends and families to pray and remember those that have died and to help support their spiritual journey. 

However, there are some regions that also celebrate the Day of the Dead in America. Some of these communities, particularly those in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, have celebrations that are closer to traditional. For instance, in Tucson, Arizona, people will wear masks, carry signs honoring the dead, and carry an urn in which people can place slips of paper inside to burn.

Across the country in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, the Day of the Dead festivities celebrate the cycle of life and death. Ofrendas are built and designed, and people will bring offerings of flowers, photos, mementos, and food for the departed. The community event is also accompanied by traditional music and dance.

Southern California also holds large events to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Santa Ana, California, has two events grow larger over the last decade, and in the Bay Area, both San Francisco and Oakland serve as a hub for annual festivals for the Day of the Dead.

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a highly spiritual time for Mexicans, but most Mexicans will enjoy the fact that Americans are interested in their culture and want to know more about their traditions. Despite taking place roughly Halloween and the Day of the Dead are quite different. The Day of the Dead is not about scary costumes and trick-or-treating, but a time of celebrating life and remembering the deceased.

Many cultures will approach death and dying differently, just as many people will handle the issue differently. All people are unique and diverse, and the decision to have a cremation service is a choice. Regardless of cultural traditions or personal choices, Simply Cremation and Funeral Care wants to help you get through troubling times. Our mission is to offer excellence in our service while providing the compassion, sincerity & understanding needed by families we serve.