Celebrating Dia de los Muertos
A Kid's Guide to Day of the Dead
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a vibrant and heartwarming Mexican tradition that celebrates the lives of those who have passed away. It’s a time to honor and remember loved ones with colorful festivities, delicious food, and beautiful ofrendas (altars). But did you know that even kids can take part in this beautiful celebration? In this blog post, we’ll explore how kids can celebrate Dia de los Muertos in a meaningful and age-appropriate way.
How to remember and honor loved ones who passed on by:
- Learn About the Traditions: Begin by explaining the significance of Dia de los Muertos to your child. Discuss the customs, including ofrendas, sugar skulls, marigolds, and the role of calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skull figures) in the celebration. Teach them that it’s a time to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones.
- Decorate Sugar Skulls: One of the most iconic elements of Dia de los Muertos is the sugar skull. Provide plain sugar skulls or cookies and let your child’s creativity run wild. They can use colorful icing and edible decorations to make their own sugar skull designs.
- Create an Ofrenda: Set up a small ofrenda at home, even if it’s just a simple one. Include photographs of family members or friends who have passed away, along with candles, marigolds, and some of their favorite items or foods. Encourage your child to talk about and remember the people in the photos.
- Bake Pan de Muerto: Get your child involved in the kitchen by baking a traditional Day of the Dead bread called “Pan de Muerto.” It’s a sweet and delicious treat shaped like a round loaf with bone-like decorations on top.
- Craft Calaveras: Kids love crafts, so why not make some calaveras or calacas with them? You can use simple materials like paper, cardboard, and paint to create colorful and fun skull decorations.
- Attend Community Events: Many communities host Dia de los Muertos events and parades. Take your child to one of these events to experience the vibrant celebrations, watch traditional dances, connect with others in the community, and see beautifully decorated altars.
- Share Stories: Encourage your child to share stories and memories of their loved ones. This can be a great way to keep the spirit of Dia de los Muertos alive in your family for generation to come.
Dia de los Muertos is a beautiful and meaningful tradition that can be adapted for kids. By involving them in activities like decorating sugar skulls, creating ofrendas, and learning about the customs, you can introduce them to a culture of remembrance and celebration that emphasizes the importance of family and the enduring bonds we share with those who have passed away. It’s a wonderful way for kids to celebrate and connect with their heritage or learn about new cultures.