Archive for October, 2014

Day of the Dead Explained

The Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) takes place every year on November 1 and 2 (which are the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day) in Mexico and places in the U.S. where many Mexican immigrants and their descendants live (such as the Dallas region).

While somewhat similar to Halloween (in that both holidays occur very close to each other and both deal with the dead in some aspect), the Day of the Dead is different in many ways.

The holiday originated in Mexico hundreds of years ago and is a mix of Spanish Catholic and pre-Hispanic indigenous beliefs. Its main premise is the celebration of the cycle of life, with death being just another part of the continuance of life (on another plane). It is, in other words, a celebration of the afterlife.

Dia de los Muertos is a day to celebrate and honor loved ones who have died. It’s a happy time and is Mexico’s most important holiday.


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Halloween and the Day of the Dead

Halloween takes place October 31, while in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 1 and 2.

Halloween has its origins in old Gaelic celebrations regarding the end of summer and the storing of the summer harvest and getting ready for the cold days ahead, while Dia de los Muertos got its start as an Aztec celebration dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the Lady of the Dead. It is a way to honor the lives and deaths of one’s ancestors, family and friends.

Halloween’s activities are meant to ward off dead spirits by scaring them by wearing frightening costumes and masks while celebrations on the Day of the Dead honor the memories of those who have passed on and encourages those spirits to visit living relatives.

The jack-o-lantern (a carved pumpkin with a candle inside) is the main symbol of Halloween, while the skull symbolizes the Day of the Dead.


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America’s current way of celebrating Halloween originates from the ancient Celts and their celebrations of the end of the harvest season.

But we also get a lot of our traditions from Mexico: the practice having of decorating with skeletons and/or dressing like one the night before the Day of the Dead, which is November 1, is a big one. Thus, on Halloween (the night before the Day of the Dead), we dress as spooks and goblins.

So it’s very appropriate to serve Tex Mex food at a Halloween party.


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When Your Picky Eater Won’t Eat Tex Mex Food

All children are picky eaters at one time or another. There’s the 4-year-old who won’t eat the crust of the pizza and only picks at the toppings. There’s the 6-year-old who won’t eat a hot dog, but happily devours the buns. There’s the 7-year-old who will only eat a tuna sandwich whenever you go out to a restaurant. (No tuna sandwich on the menu and the kid decides to go hungry.)

All of these are normal behaviors.

But then there’s the child who refuses to eat a taco, or a burrito…

We know; hard to believe. But these “No to Tex Mex, thank you” children definitely are out there.


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