2021 58¢ Day of the Dead – Girl's Skull with Bow
Value: 58¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: September 30, 2021
First Day City: El Paso, TX
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 35,000,000
Mexico's Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a chance to delebrate, rather than mourn, the deceased. While the celebrations have evolved and may vary from region to region, they're always full of color and merriment.
According to Mexican tradition, on November 1 and 2, the spirits of the deceased can return to visit their families. Day fo the Dead celebrations are held to help guide those spirits to their families. In preparation, families clean and decorate gravesites with ofrendas (altars). These altars include personal trinkets as well as traditional items like sugar skulls.
Families also build altars in their homes to draw spirits there. These altars include food, such as tamales, candied pumpkin, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), and beverages. It's believed that deceased spirits consume the essence of the food and their families eat the food itself. They also leave out pillows and blankets for deceased to rest after their long journey. People share happy memories and also write short poems known as calaveras literararias (literary skulls). These light-hearted speeches can be about the dead or living.
Modern celebrations now include large parades with people dressed as colorful skeletons dancing through the streets. And they've spread out of Mexico to several major US cities.