El Día de los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, is often referred to as the Mexican version of Halloween. Although that’s a rather inaccurate description for the most part, there is an element of truth in it. You see, both holidays involved a belief that, on a certain day, the dead were free to return to earth and should be given offerings. Although “El Día” has stuck with that tradition, such aspects of Samhain mutated into trick-or-treating when the holiday became known as Halloween.
To learn more about the holiday (and why it’s so much more than “Mexico’s Halloween”), visit Palomar Community College’s special website on the holiday. Also, the “Dead of the Dead” and “Halloween around the world” Wikipedia entries are also worth a look.
On a related note, I thought I had discovered a Day of the Dead-themed CD called El Día De Los Muertos! on Amazon. However, it’s actually titled Halloween: El Día Del Muerto! and appears to be a Spanish version of tracks from Black Cat Halloween! and Halloween Demons And Vampires!
Feliz el Dia de los Muertos!
Happy Day of the Dead!