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Ten Spanish Words to Talk About the Day of the Dead

October 30, 2018

Día de Muertos – The Day of the Dead – is a Mexican holiday celebrated 31st of October to remember and celebrate the life of the loved ones that have passed away. Because the Day of the Dead is a very important for the Spanish-speaking world, we made a list of Spanish words you might want to learn before the great celebration.

  1. Día de Muertos

“Día de Muertos” is the Spanish name for the Day of the Dead. The holiday is sometimes called “Día de los Muertos” too, especially in Anglophone countries.

  1. La calavera

A “calavera” is a representation of a human skull. Calaveras on Día de los Muertos are often very decorative and made from sugar or clay. Sugar skulls are common gifts for children for the Day of the Dead.

  1. La ofrenda

An “ofrenda” is a collection of objects placed on a ritual altar during the Day of the Dead celebrations. It is usually given to the spirits of loved ones.

  1. Pan de muerto

“Pan de muerto”, which literally means bread of the dead, is a traditional bread baked in Mexico during the Day of the Dead celebrations. It is a sweetened, soft bun-like bread, often decorated with pieces shaped like finger bones.

  1. La calaca

“La calaca” is a figure of a skeleton, a very popular Day of the Dead decoration.

  1. El espíritu

The spirits of the departed are said to be with us on the Day of the Dead.

  1. La ánima

“Ánima” is another word for spirit or soul.

  1. El copal

Copal is a resin from the copal tree. Burning it like incense on the spirit altar is popular on the Day of the Dead.

  1. Flor de muerto

The brilliant orange Mexican marigolds bloom just in time for the Day of the Dead, so the flower has acquired the popular name “flower of the dead”.

  1. ¿Me da mi calaverita?

In Mexico, trick-or-treating is called ”calaverita”. A calaverita is a small skull made of sugar or chocolate. Instead of ”trick or treat”, children ask “¿Me da mi calaverita?” It means ”Can you give me my sugar skull?”

 

Whether you get dressed up and bake some pan de muertos, or just stay at home and eat some sugar skulls to celebrate, we at WordDive hope you have a good Día de Muertos.

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Director, Learning Material & Customer Relations

Language loving coffee addict and communications professional haunted by eternal wanderlust.

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