Dia de los Muertos : Do It The Right Way

Updated: Nov 19, 2020 10:04
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Dia de Los Muertos. It is NOT Mexican Halloween. Like at all. It’s not even celebrated October 31st. Dia de Los Muertos is November 2nd. Take note and don’t sound like a fool when it comes up at brunch this month.

Dia de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated throughout Latin America that originated in Mexico. It is the day that we celebrate and remember those who have passed away. Families decorate the graves of their loved ones with flowers, candles, and placing “ofrendas” (offerings) of sugar skulls, food, anything that the departed loved. My family will have to place carne asada burritos, Basil Hayden, and a hot man at my grave to honor me.

Honoring the dead with light and beauty

Celebrating the dead was an Aztec thing waaaaay way back in the day. It was a month long festival dedicated it to the Goddess of the Dead. She was kinda a big deal. Fast forward to the 1900’s in Mexico when she was given a wardrobe change and dubbed La Catrina Calavera. She is the icon of the Dia de los Muertos. A fabulously chic symbol of death that expresses the inescapable finality that we all will encounter one day. All of us. No amount of money, power, fame or plastic surgery can keep death at bay.

Goddess of Death: Past and Present

Goddess of Death: Past and Present

Where this holiday has long been a way to celebrate life by way of celebrating death, it has recently been culturally skewed and turned into yet another over-marketed concept. (Coco, Book of Life) It even has its own aisle in Spirit Halloween stores, right next to vampires and werewolves.  Leave it alone ya’ll. The holiday itself is already sexy. What is more enthralling than being reminded that life is short and exquisite and to make your life as rich and full of love as you possibly can while you’re still breathing?!?!?! Not to mention that we Latinos are inherently sexy! All the time and without even trying.

OMG! Let’s be Dia de los Muertos for Halloween!!….NO.

Don’t be basic. Leave the hella ugly and stupid “senorita costume” at the store and try a little bit harder at representing my culture at whatever Slutoween party or bar you’re hitting up this year.

Easy costume for women:

  • Red or black pencil skirt.
  • Red or black corset top – get that boob action going for you!
  • LOTS of flowers – For your hair and outfit. Fake is best.
  • black lace shawl or big hat (optional)
  • White face make-up
  • Black eye liner
  • Red, purple, black, grey, blue eye shadow

Sew/glue/staple the flowers all over the outfit and pin them in your hair or shawl. Google it ladies. Its really NOT that hard.

For Men:

  • Thrift store black suit or tuxedo
  • White makeup
  • Black liner
  • Top Hat
  • Flowers – Manly ones (optional)

All men look sexy in a suit or tux. Add some death to that…HOTNESS!!! Check out this blog with a Dia de los Muertos make-up tutorial


Seriously FIERCE!!!

If you really want to have a dope ass party that will really bring to life morbid essence of Halloween then have a real Dia de los Muertos party. Build an altar with candles and colorful paper cutouts. Invite your friends to bring a photo of someone who has passed to place onto it. Or go tech-style and have them email it to you and you can project a slide show on your big ass smart tv or laptop and play it throughout the night. Make tequila drinks and pass out sugar skull candy. They sell them in the Mission.


Latinos love to drink, laugh, and talk about people. So getting together and telling stories about your grandma, dad, best friend, army buddy, brother, sister, neighbor who are no longer with us is precisely what the holiday is about.

Dia de los Muertos is about remembering. We believe that if you remember those who have past they are not gone. They come back and surround you with love. Especially on this day when their spirits are allowed to visit the living and celebrate with us.

Then once you’re nice and tipsy and full of warm, fuzzy thoughts and happy to be alive and among friends…go bar hopping. It’s Halloween after all!

Check out this year’s Dia De Los Muertos events in the Mission in SF and in Fruitvale Village in Oakland.

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Jay H - Bawdy Broadcaster

Jay H - Bawdy Broadcaster

Bay Area native. Oldest girl in a very large extended Mexican family. Studied Art History at UC Berkeley and of course I became a Nonprofit Marketing Consultant! Never married. No kids. Serial dater and and expert at the 'hang out' version of dating. Moved out of crazy expensive SF to Oakland and LOVING it! Loves sports. All of them. Except golf. Oh, and rhythmic gymnastics.