What Are Similarities Between Halloween and Day of the Dead?

Halloween and Day of the Dead share several similarities, including decorating with images of skeletons, ghosts, and the deceased as well as consuming sweets like candy and chocolate. These holidays have different origins, but both pay tribute to spirits and celebrate death and the afterlife.

Halloween originates in ancient Celtic culture. Although celebrated in the United States and other European nations around the world, its origins date back to ancient Britain and France, when citizens recognized the emergence of the Celtic New Year on November 1st. Historically, October 31st marked a transitional period when the lines between the living world and spiritual world blurred. October 31st remains the day of celebration for Halloween worldwide, although it no longer holds the same religious importance.

Day of the Dead, however, stresses religious significance, and falls on November 1st. Like Halloween, Day of the Dead blurs the line between the living world and spiritual world. In addition to falling at the same time of year, both holidays involve food and clothing. For Halloween, people dress as characters and spirits. In Day of the Dead celebrations, people decorate the graves of loved ones with photographs and blankets. People celebrating both holidays enjoy candies, sweets and the company of friends and family.