Although death may seem like an unlikely thing to celebrate, that’s exactly what the Day of the Dead festivities at the Roundhouse on November 1 will do. While memento mori (remember that you are mortal) was a staple of western religious thought throughout the centuries, it seemingly disappeared sometime around the 1960s, when death became an idea non grata, a very unwelcome thought. In a culture devoted to eat, drink, and be merry, the “for tomorrow you will die” part often gets forgotten.
An important part of the Day of the Dead celebration entails creating elaborate altars, ofrendas, to encourage the dead to return home.
In contrast, the Mexican and Latin American Day of the Dead holiday celebrates family and friends who have entered that uncharted territory. In Mexico, this vibrant, colourful celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, and cemetery visits, private altars, and special foods are all part of the festivities.