Dia de los Difuntos Celebration

It’s an important day for Ruben, circulation manager at KDL’s East Grand Rapids branch!

Today, November 2, is a big celebration in my home country, Ecuador, and I just wanted to share a little history behind this holiday in my country. It is a bittersweet celebration of course. It is an amazing Day, celebrating great memories of those we love who’ve passed away. 

The inhabitants of the beautiful country of Ecuador place much emphasis on religious festivals and celebrations. The second of November each year is a national public holiday, giving everyone the opportunity to participate in the activities related to one of the most important celebrations of Ecuador: Dia de los Difuntos. (In Ecuador the term “Dia de los Difuntos,” meaning “Day of the Deceased,” is preferred as it is seen to be more respectful.)

Traditional foods specific to this celebration are “Guaguas de Pan,” which are baby-shaped bread, along with a sweet fruit-based drink called “Colada Morada.” These slightly sweet bread babies can be up to 12 inches in length with a round-shaped head and a body that tapers down to a point. They are decorated with icing and have something sweet, like jam, inside. Some families make their own bread babies, but most bakeries have them for sale for weeks prior to the celebration and they are on offer at cafés and restaurants during this period.

Throughout Ecuador the celebration of Dia de los Difuntos is seen as a time for families to reconnect with their ancestors as well as to remember their roots and to celebrate the wonderful memories of the dear people who are not with us anymore.


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Written by Heidi


Heidi Nagel is KDL’s Communications Manager. She is an equal opportunity librarian — loving both cats and dogs with equal fervor.

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