Buzz·Posted on Oct. 27, 2022Here Are 7 Things About "Día De Muertos" Or "Day Of The Dead" You Might Not Know"We believe it's about the things you can't see— like love, loss and our ancestors. The altar is just the physical representation of that."by Pao BerdejaBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Hi everyone! My name is Pao, and I'm on Team Buzzfeed LATAM, but I work occasionally with the BuzzFeed Canada Team. Pao Berdeja / Via BuzzFeed I wrote a little bit about my experience working with Canadians for the first time. I've learned many things working with Canadians, including facts about their culture, and most importantly about their amazing sitcoms (I'm obsessed with Letterkenny). But now, it's my turn! So here are 7 things you might not have ever known about Día de Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead. 1. There isn't just one Día de los Muertos. Monica Rodriguez / Getty Images Originally, with the Aztecs, the celebration lasted for two months — but after the Conquista from the Spaniards, the church decided to align the celebration with November 1st, which is All Saints' Day. Now, the Day of the Dead is a mix of Spanish and Aztec cultures. People start prepping their altars three to four days before November 1st. This is because, according to tradition, our deceased loved ones come to visit us on different dates! November 1st is for little kids that have passed away, while November 2nd is the official day for everyone. Oh! Our pets come back too on October 27th. It's completely normal to set up altars for them, with water and their favourite food, my dog will be in our family altar for the first time this year. 2. It is a celebration! Shengying Lin / Getty Images Death is known for being a sad thing in occidental culture, but here in Mexico, death has been celebrated since the Aztecs! We put up altars for the deceased with things they loved and of course their photos. We also go visit them at their resting places and decorate them— we can put the altar there or at home. Sure it's sad because we miss our loved ones, but Día de Los Muertos is about celebrating their lives and keeping them alive in our memory. We tell stories and eat their favourite food (just not from their altar, that's for them)! Sometimes there's even live music, and there are huge colourful parades in Mexico City and other cities. 3. Speaking of the altar, it's one of the most important parts of the celebration. Rob Tilley / Getty Images The altar is where our loved ones will come back to visit. The most traditional ones have seven steps and a hundred things placed on them, but as long as there's a picture of the deceased, a representation of the four elements and their favourite food/drink/clothes— it will be perfect. It's normal to have many people on the same altar, like a family altar. The bigger the better!Candles and marigolds lead the way for the dead. Ultimately, we believe that Día de Los Muertos is about the things you can't see— like love, loss and our ancestors. The altar is just the physical representation of that. 4. There's special food like bread of the dead. Carolin Voelker / Getty Images/EyeEm Pan de Muerto or bread of the dead is the quintessential food of this holiday. It's a delicious orange-scented bread with sugar and little bones made of bread on top. That paired with hot chocolate takes me back home! We also put one (or many) of them on the altar for our loved ones.There are also sugar skulls but those are so intricate and hard that we don't eat them at all, they are mainly for decorating altars. 5. Introducing La Catrina. Fg Trade Latin / Getty Images So you know how in American culture you have the Grim Reaper, or the "Ghost of Christmas" (I know he doesn't mean death but he was soo scary, I still have nightmares). Well, for us Mexicans, death is a fancy skeleton coming to get you... and her name is Catrina. During Aztec times, the Goddess of Death, Mictecacihuatl, (meek-teh-KA-shee-wa-tl) represented this celebration. However, after colonization, things changed. So now she's dressed in a big black dress with a huge hat that has marigold flowers around it. At least she got to keep her signature skull face decoration that we all love! 6. Not only do we celebrate death, but we make fun of it with funny little poems. Fg Trade Latin / Getty Images Kids or artists usually write funny poems about how death (or La Catrina) is going to come get them, or how it got other people, usually famous. They come from love and it's not seen as disrespectful, because we remember their life and joke about when you die, Catrina just got to you. Death is so tough already, might as well lighten it up! 7. Lastly, it's NOT Halloween! Sollina Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF Kids here will also dress up and go door to door to ask for candy during the celebrations. Instead of candy, though, we call it calaverita (which literally means little skull). Kids not only get traiditional candy, they also get fruits (a big NO according to my little neighbours), peanuts, nuts, sugar skulls, and sometimes chocolate— but I swear it is NOT Halloween!This tradition comes from when kids in Aztec times didn't have money to set up their altars so they painted their faces like the Goddess of Death and went door to door to get what they needed. So now in Mexico , there are three types of kids: The ones who don't ask for calaverita but celebrate Halloween, the ones who only celebrate this holiday because they are traditional and lastly, the smart ones that get candy two days in a row. I hope this post helped you understand Día de Los Muertos a little bit better. Let me know if you have any questions about it <3. See you soon in another post!