Day of the Dead in Puerto Rico

Have you wondered if Day of the Dead in Puerto Rico is a thing? Not really. We have All Saints Day and All Souls’ Day. The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is celebrated primarily on November 1st and 2nd. All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, is observed on November 1st. All Souls’ Day follows on November 2nd. These dates hold significant cultural and religious importance in various traditions, particularly within Catholicism and Latin American cultures.

day of the dead in puerto rico

Day of the Dead in Puerto Rico?

puerto rico cemetery all souls day

Growing up in Day of the Dead in Puerto Rico, coming from a Catholic home, we never really celebrated it. As it’s known, Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos and celebrated in the United States, Mexico, and other countries. We commemorated the saints on All Saints Day on November 1st and remember the dead during All Souls’ Day. This is the following day on November 2nd. I didn’t know about Day of the Dead, Día de Muertos until I moved to the United States.

I started celebrating Day of the Dead when my son’s grandpa passed away and he was having a hard time accepting the fact that he was no longer with us. We made this DIY Shoebox Ofrenda Altar for Day of the Dead. 

Are you going to start this beautiful tradition in your family?  We’ve done a few things over the years.  One year, we made Day of the Dead sugar skull craft  and another year we made Guatemalan Barriletes for the Day of the Dead.  Another year, we made these really fun Calavera Puppets for Kids. 

All Saints Day

On All Saints Day we celebrate the holy men and women and ask for their prayers and intercessions.  We gather for Mass to give thanks for these incredible souls and to ask for their help and prayers. All Saints Day holds a special place in our hearts, especially for us Catholics. We commemorate the saints known, and unknown with a Mass. We also have a beautiful and special procession. The children have a special  participation in the procession dressed as their favorite saints.

All Saints Day Day of the Dead in Puerto Rico
Photo Credit: Commons Wikimedia

All Souls’ Day

The following day the Mass for Los Fieles Difuntos (All Souls’ Day) was often held and celebrated at the cemetery.   This celebration also coincides with the popular Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Both Day of the Dead and All Souls’ Day remember the dead. However, they celebrate it very differently.  While All Souls’ Day dates back to the early centuries it is a Catholic celebration. Praying and remembering all the souls’ who departed.  Especially those who departed, and are in the process of getting to heaven, through Christ. Catholics believed that some souls are waiting in purgatory, and with our prayers, they will be able to go into heaven.  Day of the Dead on the other hand celebrates the departed and prepares for their return with a grand celebration with food, drink, music, fireworks, and an altar decorated with flowers, photos of the deceased, and a variety of food offerings for the dead.

As Catholics, we will continue to celebrate, and commemorate the saints and the souls. We will as a family also learn about this new and beautiful tradition of celebrating Día de Muertos.

day of the dead in puerto rico cemetary headstone

Day of the Dead Series

I am delighted to take part in Multicultural Kid Blogs first annual Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) Series.  If you’d like to learn more about Day of the Dead, you’ll enjoy these 10 Kid-Friendly Spanish Day of the Dead Videos. 

 

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10 Comments

  1. I appreciate your explanation here of the difference in the two holidays. I've never heard it explained that way, nor did I realize that Day of the Dead isn't celebrated as heavily in all Spanish-speaking countries. I'm excited for what else I will learn with this new series. Yay!!

  2. Thanks Kali! I was clueless when it came to Dia de Muertos… I was like… what is that?? LOL It's indeed a beautiful tradition. 🙂



  3. Perhaps your Puerto Rican family didn’t celebrate the day of the dead but mine did. My mother would make this cake made of corn meal with shredded coconut, raisins, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. We would take this cake to family members . We celebrate with music, songs and shared photos and stories about decease families. Both my Puerto Rican families from different sides of the island celebrated this way. Sorry to hear your Catholic family didn’t celebrate this way.

    1. Author

      Wow!! I didn’t know this. How beautiful that your family celebrated this way.

  4. We all my respect you have combing 3 different culture in one. DIAS DE LOS MUERTO IS NOT HALLOWEEN.

    WHITE CULTURE CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN OCT 1 TO 31

    MEXICO DIAS DE LOS MUERTO 1 NOV AND 2 NOV ( origin from INDIGINA PEOPLE OF MEXICO)

    PUERTO RICO DIA DE LOS MUERTOS Nov 2 (chritian RELIGION Origin )

    1. Author

      Hi Miguel! Thanks for your comment but I don’t mention Halloween at all in my post.

  5. Yo soy de la Isla y el dia de los muertos en P.R. se manda hacer misa a los difuntos y se visitan nuestros seres queridos en el cementerio y le dejamos cirios encendidos, pedimos por el eterno descanso de sus almas y dejamos flores. No celebramos con fiesta , ni cake , ó música.

    1. Author

      ¡Saludos Mrs. López! Así mismo es, nada de fiestas o cake como lo hacen con Día de Muertos.

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