Mexico – Día de los Muertos When asking what countries celebrate Day of the Dead, Mexico will always be the first that come to mind. This day occurs the day after Halloween on November 1. Mexico is the country that first began its celebration of Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. These celebrations were launched when Mexicans believed that the dead would be offended by mourning and sadness. So a celebration was launched annually to honor the dead as a day separate from the grief of funerals, memorials, and wakes. Mexicans celebrate Día de los Muertos with sugar skull-shaped candies and figures to eliminate the border between the dead and the living.
Ecuador -- El Día de los Difuntos Ecuador is not the first people think of when asking what countries celebrate day of the dead, but they have their own traditions. Here it is called El Día de los Difuntos, Day of the Deceased, and operates under similar premises to Mexico. This is held over November 1 and November 2 and includes upbeat celebrations, family feasts, and unique pastries such as the pastry shaped like a baby called guaguas de pan.
Guatemala -- Festival de Barriletes Gigantes The Guatemalans don't call it the Day of the Dead, but it is celebrated on the same day of November 1. Here it is called the Festival de Barriletes Gigantes which is called the Festival of Giant Kites. The Guatemalans celebrate with huge kites that they will fly into the heavens to honor their passed loved ones. Kites are used as the original Indigenous population of Guatemala believed, and still do, that kites are a way to talk to dead people. Their kites today on their Festival of Giant Kites are made to honor the special memories, favorite things, and lives of those that have passed as a hope their loved one will see it and know they are thinking of them.
Philippines -- Undás When looking at what countries celebrate Day of the Dead, Philippines will come up. This is called Undás in the Philippines and also celebrated on All Saint's Day. This celebration is very much like Mexico's, where parades and feasts are created. People will travel from all over the world to join their loved ones during Undás in the Philippines. This is a two-day celebration where candles have a special significance.
Haiti – The Voodoo Spirits Haiti has a Day of the Dead in November that has the same name. This celebration draws on the Voodoo religion which plays the most predominant role in this day. Here, Voodoo spirits are called upon to celebrate both the dead and fertility issues to bring new life into the families of Haitians. This is a two-day festival marked by singing and dancing, ritual, and many feasts.
El Salvador – La Calabiuza When looking at what countries celebrate Day of the Dead, El Salvador has its own rich history in the festival they call La Calabiuza. It is a celebration not always held as it does not come without controversy. When it is celebrated, this takes place early in November and is steeped in Indigenous principles. In El Salvador, the people dress like skeletons and form parades where they walk through the towns with torches and candles. It is very similar to the American holiday of Halloween, but when honored completely, it places more emphasis on grander shows of parades and the giving of trinkets and food. When it is not honored in true Indigenous fashion, it is honored like the American Halloween holiday.
Around the world, six countries celebrate the Day of the Dead: Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador, the Philippines, and Haiti.