Day of the Dead
Today marks the last part of of Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration. Unlike Halloween, where the emphasis is on the scariness, ghosts, and skeletons, Day of the Dead is joyous. Death is considered the start of a new phase, rather than an ending.
Grave sites are cleaned up and decorated with flowers, mainly with marigolds as they are considered the flower of the dead, because the flowers die so quickly after being picked. Families spend time in the cemetery visiting and sharing stories about their loved ones.
While we've never had the opportunity to participate in any Day of the Dead celebrations, we have taken many family walks through cemeteries and even visited a Confederate and Union on an Arkansas trip. (The Union one was much nicer and in a better location.)
Once you get past the creeps, cemeteries are fascinating and peaceful places to visit. The older headstones are very artistic with ornate carvings, amazing fonts, elaborate sculptures and interesting messages that are no longer used on modern markers. It can even be a learning opportunity with younger kids pointing out the letters they recognize and older ones choosing a name to research later.
Have you ever celebrated Day of the Dead or just explored a cemetery with your kids?
Gravestone(click thumbnails to view gallery)