Day of the Dead goes mainstream with children’s book, music video and nationwide celebrations

Delicate sugar skulls created by Executive Pastry Chef Santiago Luna Corral of Occasion Caterers in Washington DC. (Photo: Twitter #DayoftheDead)

LatinaLista — Though there were more than a few ‘scary’ skeletons showing up on doorsteps last night, today begins a two-day observance of seeing skeletons in a whole other (excuse the pun) light.

From the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. (Photo: Twitter #DayoftheDead)

Today is Dia de los Muertos, a time when we, in the Mexican culture primarily, honor our loved ones who have passed on with homemade altars or having a picnic at their grave sites. It used to be that only Latino families observed this special time, complete with brightly painted skeleton faces and candy in the shape of skulls, but now it seems it’s caught on with everyone.

Like the beloved salsa – the number one condiment in the nation now – Dia de los Muertos has gone mainstream and is fast becoming a pop culture icon like Frida Kahlo. There is now even a children’s book and special app incorporating the observance titled Rosita y Conchita.

Even I was surprised to see how many have embraced a day that clearly originated south of the border. Maybe it’s a sign that non-Latino Americans are experiencing reverse assimilation!

Whatever it may be, Dia de los Muertos is destined to be one of those observances in the future, probably far future, that people will forget on which side of the border it originated. But in the meantime, it’s fun to see just where and who is talking about and celebrating Dia de Los Muertos.

Delicate sugar skulls created by Executive Pastry Chef Santiago Luna Corral of Occasion Caterers in Washington DC. (Photo: Twitter #DayoftheDead)


New Orleans: Day of the Dead altar dedicated to Uncle Lionel Batiste

Washington DC: Occasions Catering Executive Pastry Chef Santiago Luna Corral crafted delicate white sugar skulls and meticulously decorated each one with colorful icing, edible metallic foils and sugars

El Paso: Dia de los Muertos events honor loved ones in El Paso, borderland

Salt Lake Community College: Día de Los Muertos Events to Educate on Tradition

San Francisco: San Francisco Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars

Dallas: Day of the Dead Celebration

Belvidere, Illinois: Day of the Dead Celebration in Belvidere Friday

Carson City, Nevada: Carson City to celebrate ‘Day of the Dead’ at Nevada State Museum

Houston, TX: Day of the Dead procession in the Heights

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: UWM DIA de los Muertos with Ballet Folklorico Nacional

In addition to all the cities and towns celebrating Day of the Dead, many restaurants are getting into the spirit creating ghoulish menus and foods. And if all this wasn’t a sign of how mainstream the celebration has gotten, a music group known as Delta Rae have been so inspired by el dia that they created the song “Dance in The Graveyards” and created a video in honor of it:

“When it came time to shoot a video for the song, we wanted to pay homage to Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday whose rituals treat death with a similar celebratory feeling as the song — remembering the dead as vibrant and real — and create a story where the dead and the living are reunited to dance together once more.”

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