Halloween in Mexico has many similiarities to the Anglo version. Since this is our first Mexican Halloween we wanted to make sure we were honoring the tradition correctly. We asked our neighbors and they confirmed that kids dress up and go around door to door asking for candy. They don’t say “trick or treat”, but we could possibly hear “calaverita” or “queremos Halloween” (“we want Halloween”). Supposedly they are expecting toys and candies shaped as coffins and skulls, but we only saw the generic kind of candy in the supermarket. It seems that we will be experiencing the commercial side of Halloween instead of the traditional at least for tonight.
They also told us that the kids may come trick or treating all 3 days. They aren’t supposed to, but don’t be surprised.
Mexicans have a lot of traditions interwoven into their holidays even the non-official ones. Halloween is just one day of a 3 day celebration honoring the dead. Mexicans celebrate Dia de las Brugas which is also All Saints Eve, Saints Day and Day of the Dead. Each day is dedicated to loved ones that have passed away. Graves are cleaned this week, and decorated with flowers, candles, pictures of the deceased and their favorite items and foods.
Our Mexican friends have told us this is a time to celebrate the departed and tell funny stories, not to be somber. Death is handled differently around the world, and it’s very rare to experience it in a different culture. Right now all we have is what we read or heard. The next few days we will learn much more and get to experience it firsthand.
Meanwhile, I did a little taste-testing of the Mexican Halloween candy. Check out the video below:
Update: Our neighborhood kids only came trick-or-treating one day, November 2nd. They were so polite and each only taking one piece of candy. We have about 15 kids in the neighborhood, and we didn’t want to have any leftovers. We told them “Mas! Mas!”. We even took handfuls of candy and put them in their tiny plastic pumpkins. Everyone was excited about the generosity of the Gringos. We were just happy to get rid of it!