What Is the El Copal Day of the Dead?

The El Copal Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that remembers the dead while celebrating life and not being fearful of death. The holiday corresponds with the traditional Halloween holiday and the Catholic All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day.

The El Copal Day of the Dead holiday takes place on November 2nd of each year. On this day, many believe that the souls of loved ones will return to visit their family and friends. This is a day when people gather at their loved ones grave sites to care for the graves.

In Mexico, people are not buried in privately maintained graves but are buried in public places or at local churches, so it is the responsibility of the family to take care of the grave site. Oftentimes the favorite food of a deceased loved one will be left at the grave site along with flowers, candles and copal.

While it might seem that the El Copal Day of the Dead would be a somber day, the Mexican people instead create colorful decorations and dance with loved ones to celebrate the gift of life. The idea is that those who are able to let go of the idea of death are the people who are able to truly live and are free to enjoy their life to its fullest.