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What is the Day of the Dead?

Every year, Mexicans gather in cemeteries to remember their departed family members, in a celebration that is the country’s most important fiesta.

According to tradition, the heavens open, and the souls of the dead come back to earth.

The Day of the Dead is a holiday traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2. It is a pre-Hispanic tradition in which families remember their dead and celebrate the continuity of life.

What is the Day of the Dead?

The festivities could also start on October 28, depending on the location, and some places observe the day on November 6. 

It is a national holiday in Mexico, but it is also celebrated throughout Latin America, Spain, the Philippines and parts of the United States. 

According to some analysts, after the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, those traditions were melded into the Catholic calendar and are now celebrated to coincide with All Souls’ Day.

In many parts of Mexico, families will spend November 1 remembering the children, often referred to as “angelitos” (little angels), decorating their gravesites with toys and balloons. 

On November 2, they will celebrate All Souls day, dedicated to adults who have died. 

Families create “ofrendas” (altars) on the graves of their loved ones. 

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