For cultures that live outside of Mexico, explaining to children what the concept of Day Of The Dead is can be quite tricky. Many cultures mourn the dead and never really move on to celebrate them and their lives. Very few will throw parties every year in their memory.
Images of skulls (calaveras) and skeleton women (catrina) if misunderstood can appear scary and maybe even morbid, but that is not how they are intended. They represent the very best of the our loved ones who have departed, which is why they are usually presented so colourfully and bright.
We have many articles on this blog, which explain the history and the point of Day Of The Dead. But there is also a great short film produced by a student animation team called Whoo Kazoo. Beautifully animated and heart felt, this short film is about a little girl who visits the land of the dead, where she learns the true meaning of Dia de los Muertos (Day Of The Dead). This short won the Student Academy Award Gold Medal in 2013 and if you read some of our blog articles first and then watch this film with your kids, it will begin to make sense for your young ones and will really help them to understand this wonderful festival.
Recently the UNESCO acknowledged this traditional celebration that has endured the passage of many centuries, as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.