Dia De Los Muertos vs. Halloween

Skulls, a common icon for Dia de los Muertos

Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos are two holidays that are often misconstrued by people to be the one and the same. Some believe Dia De Los Muertos to be the Mexican version of Halloween – which is not true. They are two separate holidays with different origins, beliefs, festivities and meanings.

They may fall relatively close to each other on a calendar, but these holidays couldn’t be more different. Check out this table to learn more about what makes Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos unique.

Differences between Dia de los Muertos and Halloween
Dia de los Muertos altar

So as you can see, Dia De Los Muertos is not about honoring death nor is it meant to be a scary holiday as some might be lead to believe. Rather, Dia De Los Muertos is about celebrating with love one’s deceased relatives and the precious memories we have of them. That is the reason for building the altars and decorating them with items the deceased enjoyed – like tamales. It’s actually quite common to see altars with food and drinks ranging from Sprite to Tequila.

Also, it’s not uncommon for family members to go to their relatives graves, clean them and decorate them with flowers or leave treats behind.

Looking at these two holidays side by side, it’s easy to see their differences now.

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