You say Halloween, I say Dia de los Muertos

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 26, 2018

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Submitted: March 26, 2018




Most don’t know the true history of halloween and just know about trick or treating, but there is much more to the holiday than our neighborly traditions. All Souls’ Day or All Hallows Eve is a holiday that was believed by the celts to be a day when ghosts and evil spirits returned to earth. In addition they believed that these spirits would cause mischief and damage their crops.

One of the most popular symbols of halloween is the jack o lantern. In ireland they believed that stringy Jack tricked the devil into banishing him from his realm and later died. God would not let him into heaven, so he gave him a burning coal to light his way and sent Jack off into the night. Jack put this coal into a carved out turnip and traveled the earth. He was known as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then just “Jack O’ Lantern.”

What is the day of the dead? The day of the dead or Dia de los Muertos is a holiday in which people honor their relatives and loved ones that have passed away. Halloween on the other hand is a holiday made to fear the dead, rather than to let them into your home. Halloween is a holiday to tell ghost stories and be frightened, but the day of the dead is a day for people to tell stories of their passed loved ones. On the day of the dead people also build altars in their houses to honor there passed family members. We do not do this in America on halloween, because the holiday is now mostly about trick or treating.

Even though both festivals are very different, there are also a lot of similarities. For example, on the day of the dead poor citizens would beg for pastries called soul cakes in exchange for their prayers for the families deceased loved ones. In America we generally don’t do this anymore, but it was done a long time ago. Both holidays are also on the same date, October 31st. The celts believed that on this night the line between the world of the living and the dead became blurred. This is also thought to happen in spanish culture, because this is how they believe their relatives visit earth.

These holidays may be celebrated in different ways however, both will always have a place in our hearts.


© Copyright 2018 Charlotte Ross. All rights reserved.

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