Why Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are Completely Different

Who remembers this episode of Lizzie McGuire?

Property of Disney

Is it coming back now? You know, the episode when Lizzie’s school puts on the Halloween Festival and Miranda’s parents bring the Dia de los Muertos Dolls?

Property of Disney

Then the dolls “come to life” and Lizzie pretends to be possessed as well?

Well, whether you ever watched this episode or not, prepare to discover why Halloween is completely different from Dia de los Muertos.

On Halloween, we dress up, we eat candy, watch scary movies and maybe visit a haunted house. The one thing we don’t do on Halloween is remember our ancestors and dress up in their honor, or at least I don’t. However, the Latin American holiday Dia de los Muertos, is celebrated on November 1st and is much more of a lively holiday, despite it’s name, Day of the Dead.

According to National Geographic Education, Dia de los Muertos is a day that celebrates the dead and honors their lives. This is done through festivals, food, drink and parties. The reason behind such a vibrant holiday is completely logical. Dia de los Muertos acknowledges death as a part of the life cycle and that the individual contributed a great deal to society. This is why the most common symbol you’ll see on this holiday is the colorful skulls also known as calacas and calaveras. When I say common, I mean it. You’ll see the skulls as costumes, dolls, masks, and on food. The skulls are another part of celebrated the lives of deceased through their bright colors and elaborate designs.

Also on Dia de los Muertos, it is said that the dead are awakened from their graves to join the celebrations as well, just like the dolls in the Lizzie McGuire episode. Although the possessed dolls turn out to be Miranda’s parents, it still taught me two valuable lessons, be nice and don’t upset the dead.

¡Feliz Día de los Muertos!


* “Dia De Los Muertos.” National Geographic Education. N.p., 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2015. 
* Both photos are property of Disney.

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