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Woman in elaborate Day of the Dead skull face paint and flower hat
Woman in elaborate Day of the Dead skull face paint and flower hat

Celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead

November 05, 2018

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the most popular holidays in Mexico. Though it was originally held during the summer, this celebration of the deceased now coincides with the traditional three-day Allhallowtide of the Catholic Church, or, as most Anglophone folks would say, Halloween. Unlike Halloween, Día de Muertos is not an occasion to fear the dead, but rather a chance to cherish the memories of loved ones lost and take comfort in the knowledge that their spirits still dwell among us. Families will often build altars, known as ofrendas, in their homes or in cemeteries to honor their deceased loved ones. These altars are not meant for worship; instead, they serve as sites loaded with offerings to welcome spirits back to their friends and families. The offerings include food, water, candles, photos, and sometimes even favorite toys. Families will often prepare their deceased loved ones' favorite dishes as well a pan de muerto, a kind of sweet roll, and calaveras, colorful sugar skulls.

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