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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

LUC Libraries Reading/Resource Lists

Thematic Resources for commemorative events.

Día de los Murtos

In Mexico, El Día de Los Muertos starts on Nov. 2 and is celebrated annually. Whereas in Guatemala, this festival takes up to three days starting on Oct. 31 and extending to Nov. 2.

To the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Guatemala, death was considered the passage to a new life, therefore, the deceased were buried with personal objects that would be used in the afterlife. In other words, this festivital does not only celebrate death but also the cycle of life. From skulls to toys, indigenous people use them to decorate tombs and make the remembrance of the death of their loved ones easier to bear.

In Guatemala, another popular tradition that takes place during the Day of the Dead is the Kite Festival, many of which are held across the country in big, open spaces where people gather to show off their kites, lift them up, and make them compete to honor the dead. What makes Kite Festivals in Guatemala unique is the size of the kites. People spend all year long building them and coming up with the design, many of which are 40 feet or larger, and the spectacular displays fill the air over cemeteries across the country.

giant kites guatemala(Source: Antigueña Spanish Academy)

Day of the Dead Interactive Altar