The Day Of The Dead

The Day of the Dead
Reading Time: 2 mins

Although the Day of the Dead — also known as el Dia de Los Muertos or Los Finados — is most prominently celebrated in Mexico in early November, it is also very popular in many villages and towns in Belize. This is due to the fact that the tradition of celebrating the life and death of lost loved ones dates back to the ancient Maya, an indigenous culture of Belize and Mexico.

Every year, the Day of the Dead occurs on November 2

However, interestingly enough, this celebration is also linked to Catholicism, the primary religion that was enforced by the Europeans when they colonized the Americas. Understanding this, it is not a coincidence that the Day of the Dead is celebrated at the beginning of November similar to All Saints Day (Nov 1) and All Souls Day (Nov 2).

How Belizeans celebrate the day of the dead

On the Day of the Dead, Maya and Mestizo communities across Belize unanimously get together to commemorate the life and death of their ancestors. This is done at people’s homes by decorating small tables as alters and including water, flowers, fruits, candles and portraits of their deceased. Families also make sure to have delicious traditional Belizean foods such as Tamales, Bollos, Caldo de Gallina local, Chirmole, and Ishpasha Atole. As for favorite alcoholic drinks, rum and tequila seem to be the popular choices.

On All Souls Day, the Catholic Church holds a mass where everyone goes to pray for their loved ones who have passed away. Following the mass, a street procession takes place which leads to the local cemetery. Individuals carry with them wreaths, candles, and food, which are later placed on the graves. The tombs are not only adorned but the family members pray and thank their dead relatives for being a part of their lives and wish them the best in the afterlife. Also common is the sharing of good memories and fun stories.

Here’s why I like the Day of the Dead

Aside from the Day of the Dead being an integral part of Belizean culture, there are two major reasons why I am fond of this festival.

The first is because as a child my family did not celebrate Halloween, and in our small town, we welcomed ANY interesting event.

Second, the assortment of traditional foods prepared for the day of the dead could only compare to a Christmas feast. To this day, I am grateful for having a large number of friends, since each home would prepare food according to what was the favorite meal of their deceased relatives – which meant a lot of delicious meals were available on that day.

Thank you, dear ancestors.

How do you celebrate the life and death of your passed loved ones?



Reader Interactions


  1. Hogga says

    I’d love to try out that kind of celebration… I don’t give enough thought to the dead apparently!

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