Dia de los Muertos originated 3,000 years ago and flourished mostly in the Central and Southern regions of the country we now recognize as Mexico. Indigenous groups of the North did not celebrate Day of the Dead because they held other traditions.The festival was historically celebrated by indigenous cultures in the summer but after Spanish rule, the date was pushed to coincide with the Christian holiday, All Saint’s Day, at the beginning of November. That is why all Día de los Muertos celebrations in Latin America and the Caribbean take place around this time now.
A misconception about this holiday is that it’s a sad time or steeped in mourning — the true intention of Día de los Muertos is to celebrate and remember those who have passed on to the after life. Frequently there are joyful public events and parades for the community to participate in and most celebrations are colorful and filled with music and dancing. The most common offering for deceased loved ones is food and water, since there is a belief that the spirits will be hungry and thirsty after making the long journey from the the afterlife to join their families on this special day.
Here are seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that celebrate Day of the Dead besides Mexico: