Not Halloween: An Introduction to Dia de los Muertos

Introduction and Background:

In the U.S., the end of October is traditionally marked by the celebration of Halloween. In greater America, however, another holiday emphasizing fun, food, and costumes calls attention to the passing of time. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated in Mexico and throughout Latin America on November 1 and 2, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively (click here for help pronouncing Spanish words). On the surface, Dia de los Muertos and Halloween appear to have much in common, but a closer look at customs tells us otherwise.

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Handling Halloween

by Judy Mullican

How do you feel about Halloween? Love it or hate it, it’s just around the corner. What’s the best way to address the holiday in a child care setting? The first thing to do is to talk to the children’s families. Some families may have a religious objection to holidays in general, and others may object to the emphasis on ghosts, goblins, and witches. Still other families may be making big plans for parties, trick-or-treating, and other celebrations and be counting on you to join the fun!

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