Food Traditions of Día de los Muertos
In the Mexican tradition, Día de los Muertos is a time to reconnect with passed on loved ones. Altars are constructed that feature the deceased person's favorite things, usually including food and drinks.
Long before we started decorating with skeletons and ghosts for Halloween, some 2,500 years ago, the indigenous people of Mesoamerica celebrated their dead with a month-long festival. But this holiday is warm rather than spooky. In honor of the Lady of the Dead Goddess Mictecacihuatl, they held feasts for the dead. And after the Spaniards brought Catholicism, the holiday combined with All Saints and All Souls Days to become Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.
Traditionally, Dia de Muertos has served as a symbol for how Mexicans deal with death: as a natural part of the life cycle. The ancient holiday is a time for families to celebrate the lives of their departed loved ones. At its center is the annual ritual of building ofrendas, or altars, in homes, at cemeteries and other public spaces, which entice the dead to return to the land of the living (just for a couple of days) so that they’re not forgotten.