Oct. 31 marks the beginning of the three-day Dias de los Muertos, one of the Latino community’s most important holidays. Celebrants remember their loved ones who have passed away by creating altars and writing calaveras, or poems. The day has roots in the Aztec culture and now coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. As this Associated Press article notes, the celebrations are gaining popularity across the country. Here’s some reading about the day:
• Azcentral.com has a great website about the holiday, including a history about the holiday and a list of books.
• La Casa Azul Bookstore lists its favorite Dia de los Muertos books for children, including The Day of the Dead/El Dia de las Muertos by Bob Barner.
• Novelist Sandra Cisneros has created an altar for her mother that will be displayed at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque until March 2012, according to this article by the New Mexico Daily Lobo.
• The novel, Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, takes place on Dias de los Muertos. In the book, a British man self-destructs while in the Mexican city of Quauhnahuac. Time named it one of the 100 all-time greatest novels.