How to Celebrate Día de los Muertos when you don’t Celebrate Día de los Muertos
This is a sponsored post with General Mills.
It’s the most celebrated time of the year. The long awaited “ber” months are finally here and I can’t wait to get into all things fall. Since the beginning of August, my daughter and I have been discussing Halloween costumes. Yes, I kid you not, since August. She’s the youngest of my three and she is the only one left that isexcited for Halloween. So, as a mom, I have to milk it because I know soon enough, the time will come in which there will be no more Halloween costumes for me. Wow, writing that made me sad!
I love the tradition of looking for costumes. My kids have had great Halloweens! They were always fun and festive. When they were younger, after the initial shock of getting free candy, my kids asked about Halloween. For me, it isn’t much about celebrating it, it’s more like keeping up with tradition. See, tradition plays a big part when raising kids. From simple traditions of going out to eat every Sunday to celebrating traditions from long ago. For example, Día de los Muertos.
Although we don’t actively celebrate Día de los Muertos, we do respect it. I see many friends who celebrate with gorgeous altars and delicious meals in remembrance of their departed loved ones. Last year was the first time my little ones asked about Día de los Muertos. They saw a movie in which the characters were dressed in traditional “catrina” costumes and the calaveras makeup and of course, in the movie, they celebrated with special foods like pan de muerto.
Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) is sweet bread that can be baked in a variety of forms. It can be shaped as a skeleton or a skull or just a simple sweet roll. It’s eaten while you talk about your loved one that has passed.
I explained to my kids that it’s a special day to honor “the dead” and not to necessarily mourn them. It’s a happy holiday, actually and very festive. I showed them several pictures of altars from Mexico, and compared them to the altars from local friends. I told them that it was all about tradition. Just like Halloween, some people dress up like muertos. The difference is that Halloween is meant to scare, Día de los Muertos is meant to honor.
They asked questions as to why we don’t celebrate my dad, since he’s the only one in our family who has passed on. I just blamed it on their grandma for not keeping up this tradition. HAHA!
When we talked about this holiday, we were having dinner. I switched the conversation by talking about my daddy. Even though they never got to meet him, I love that they are still interested in him. In the middle of talking about him, I told them that we are honoring him, by sitting down, eating a meal and talking about him.
They smiled. And so did my heart.
You too can host your own Día de Los Muertos by having your own Pan de Muerto bread!
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Do you celebrate Día de los Muertos? What kind of traditions do you keep up with and teach your children?
Liz is a Mexican-American blogger living in Southern California. Married 19 years, and a mami to 3 kids, her content is inspired from living in and raising a multicultural familia. Liz has been blogging for more than 7 years, establishing herself as a nationally recognized Latina blogger. She often blogs in Spanglish and may throw in some Tagalog when talking about her hubby. You can also find her chit chatting away at @Liz_Cerezo on Twitter!