"What is the difference between Halloween and the Day of the Dead? Halloween is based on a medieval European concept of death, and is populated by demons, witches (usually women) and other images of terror -- all of them negative. The Day of the Dead, in contrast, is distinctly different, It is a uniquely Indo-Hispanic custom that demonstrates strong sense of love and respect for ones ancestors; celebrates the continuance of life, family relationships, community solidarity and even finds humor after death -- all positive concepts!
When Churpa & I set up the altar on the porch this year for Day of the Dead, we put him on a stack of coolers, complete with spatula, rice paddle, kitchen knife, tomatillos, hot sauce and chiles. Also an extra set of bottom teeth I found in the desk drawer in the computer room. By Tina Rosa
Days of the Dead:the internet hosts scores of interesting Día de los Muertos websites in both English and Spanish. Bored with the same-old-same-old email greeting cards? Wow your friends by clicking here! to send the greeting card below from Amazon.com.
The tremendous popularity of Mexico's 5 de Mayo fiesta in the U.S. is now spreading to the "Days of the Dead". Will the macabre "Los Muertos" of November 2 eventually give even Halloween a fright? Here's a wonderful set of links to Day of the Dead websites: http://daphne.palomar.edu/muertos/muertoslinks.htm
There's a complete guide to the traditions of Día De Muertos (in Spanish) at http://mexico.udg.mx/Tradiciones/Muertos/muertos.html
by Bobbi Salinas-Norman
The Day of the Dead is a unique Indo-Hispanic holiday that preserves and encourages folk art and folklore as no other holiday does. It is recreated annually in the community, by the community and for the community.
Children in the United States today learn about sex, gunslinging, drug dealing and other forms of corruption much earlier than their parents did (largely through television), but they learn very little about death. In some states the subject is even taboo in public school textbooks. For many, death is therefore an uncongenial intruder who can be dealt with only by calling in the police, the coroner or the mortician. (more)