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Day of the Dead is not Halloween

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Día de los Muertos, known in English as Day of the Dead, is a sacred Mexican holiday to honor ancestors and recently deceased loved ones in a three-day long celebration from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

It is a beautiful holiday with deep personal meaning and involves making altars for the deceased and presenting the dead with offerings such as food, candle lightings and marigolds.

Unfortunately, many people do not see the significance behind Día de los Muertos and only see it as an aesthetic to practice sugar skull makeup. Sugar skulls are often offered to deceased children, known as “angelitos,” not something trivial like a pathetic attempt to look rockabilly.

Too many ill-educated people know Día de los Muertos as “Mexican Halloween.” Día De Los Muertos varies greatly from Halloween since Halloween is a holiday for consumers to give candy to children dressed in costumes and is meant to be spooky. Día de los Muertos is a day of respect and appreciation with altars and prayers.

HARD’s annual Day of the Dead rave, held at Fairplex over the weekend, ignorantly associates the holiday as a wild party. The event also grossly sexualizes sugar skulls with many attendants wearing their cheap sugar skull imitations without even considering the history of the sugar skull.

The holiday has been practiced since pre-Columbian times and should not be degraded to cultural appropriation.

Día de los Muertos carries deep significance and reunites people with spirits of their deceased loved ones for a three-day celebration of honor. Día de los Muertos should be respected, not mocked.

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