Dia de Los Muertos
Despite its sinister-sounding name, Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is actually an occasion for celebration in the Mexican culture, with roots going back to pagan traditions that are thousands of years old. Essentially, Dia de Los Muertos is an annual occasion for Mexican families to remember loved ones who have passed away; a holiday party might include food dishes or beverages that the deceased person enjoyed in his or her lifetime, and families will often travel to the cemetery to clean and decorate grave sites and leave symbolic items and foods for their departed relatives and friends.
In Mexico, Dia de Los Muertos is a national holiday, and celebrations also take place in other Latin American nations and countries throughout the world. The holiday falls on the 1st and 2nd of November each year in Mexico, though its predecessor in the indigenous Aztec culture was celebrated during the month of August. Modern Dia de Los Muertos observances vary from region to region and even from town to town in Mexico, but many traditions are familiar across the country. These include the familiar skull imagery that has found its way into popular culture, as well as orange marigolds (a common Mexican flower that is often left as an offering at cemeteries) and traditional foods such as the pan de muertos, which is a sweet bread sometimes flavored with anise seeds or orange flower water, candied pumpkin, and calaveras de azúcar, or decorated sugar skulls. In Mexican culture, these items and foods are referred to as ofrendas, or offerings, and are also left in the home to welcome the spirits of the deceased back into a familiar place.
Of course, Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated by many Mexican-Americans in the United States. With locations across North Texas, the Tex-Mex eatery Mattitos Restaurant is a great place to celebrate. Mattitos offers catering services and party room rentals for holiday party bookings. Mattitos is an award-winning establishment serving the greater Dallas area, offering traditional Tex-Mex dishes and modern fare. Named one of the Top Ten Tequila Bars in the United States and the recipient of multiple peoples’ choice awards for Mexican cuisine, any of the restaurant’s three locations would be an ideal setting for a Dia de Los Muertos meal with family and friends.