America is essentially a melting pot of different cultures, races, and belief systems. Because of this, American citizens are exposed to many traditions from around the world. Although America itself doesn’t necessarily have its own day to celebrate those who have passed on, some other cultures that have a presence in America do.
The most popular and well known of all the celebrations for the dead is Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This is a holiday and tradition that originated in Mexico to allow families to honor and show respect to their ancestors who are no longer living. Generally, families will make an altar to remember their loved ones and will often visit the graves of family members who have died.
This celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd. It is curious because, of course, this is the day after Halloween. It has been said that the separation between the world of the living and the realm of the dead is at its thinnest on Halloween night.
Interestingly enough, families believe their ancestors’ spirits are present on Day of the Dead. Perhaps these spirits are allowed to come back once a year due to the veil separating worlds being so thin. Although Dia de los Muertos is most widely celebrated in Mexico, some people celebrate in America too. I think it would be wise for everyone to show appreciation for their ancestors once a year. I know once I am gone from this earth, I would love to be remembered by those in my family who continue on, if only for one day a year!