Halloween is celebrated on October 31 every year. 1
Halloween is celebrated yearly on October 31. The reason it is celebrated on October 31 is because the holiday has origins that go back to the ancient festival of Samhain celebrated by the Celts, who lived about 2,000 years ago. They believed that the ghosts of the dead came back on this day and roamed the earth.
The Day of the Dead celebration happens yearly on the first two days of November. 2
Día de los Muertos is a two-day celebration that happens every November 1 and 2. On November 1, the children and babies who have died are celebrated. On November 2, adults who have died are honored. It has its origins in Mexico, but is celebrated throughout Latin America and pretty much anywhere there are Latinos.
What are the origins of Halloween? 3
As we mentioned, the origins of Halloween go back to Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival which commemorated the end summer and harvest season. The Celts believed that during the night of October 31, the dead could cross over into the world of the living.
Halloween is a fright-fest. 5
The Celts thought that the ghosts that would show up on October 31, were not of a friendly nature. Costumes were worn to scare the ghosts or conceal appearances so that a ghost that was out to get you couldn't get you. Halloween is still heavy on the scare factor, hence all the horror movies that come out right around the spooky holiday.
Day of the Dead is a love-fest. 6
Day of the Dead isn't about hiding from the dead, it's about remembering our dearly departed in a beautiful and loving way. It's about wanting the dead to know that you love them and remember them. Altars are set up with pictures of the dead and ofrendas comprised of favorite foods or things that those we have passed loved in life.
The decorations and aesthetics of Halloween skew to scary. 7
For example, Halloween skulls or skeletons are grim and frightening. They are a reminder of death in a terrifying way.
The decorations and aesthetics of Day of the Dead aren't scary at all. 8
Skulls for Día de los Muertos are usually beautifully decorated in bright happy colors. They're not frightening in the least because death is not depicted or represented as something we should be afraid of, it's just a continuation of our existence.
Trick-or-treating on Halloween. 9
When Halloween made its way over to the US, people started dressing up and going to houses to ask money or treats. The holiday started to morph into more of a neighborhood and community bonding sort of experience.