The Day of the Dead is a way by which family members honor those which have died in the previous years. Although this holiday is originally Mexican in origin, it is slowly being assimilated with American Halloween culture. Although there is a distinction between two celebrations, certain aspects have crossed over into the other. Pumpkins are now sometimes found on Day of the Dead Altars. Children in parts of the American Southwest are being introduced to the Mexican Holiday at the same age as Halloween.
El Dia de los Muertos is celebrated at the beginning of November, right after Halloween. The day is marked not by mourning, but by celebrating the life of the individual. An altar is built in their honor and gifts are left so the spirit can use them in the after-life. (1) The picture above is what a traditional altar would look like today.
In Newfoundland, November 5 is celebrated as Bonfire Night. Although the actual event is just as it sounds, the meaning behind the celebration is as practical as anything else. A bonfire needs large amounts of fuel for the fire. These materials require effort and cooperation in collection. This is at the heart of the celebration. Through communal and familial efforts, the event is a success. The fellowship brings friends and family together, which in every culture is the main theme of all holidays.
There is a sort of Trick-or-Treating atmosphere in the collection of fuels for the fire. Teenagers are often responsible for the collection of these items. They are required to ask if certain items may be used, if the items are not available for use, they are often taken without permission and used anyways. (2)