this pressed: El Monte residents tell us how they envision their town — KCET-TV SoCal (@KCET)/Wikipedia

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day.[1][2] Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world. In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

Day of the Dead
Catrinas 2.jpg

Representations of Catrina, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico
Observed by Mexico, and regions with large Hispanic populations
Type Cultural
Synthetic Christian
Significance Prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died
Celebrations Creation of altars to remember the dead, traditional day of the dead’s food
Begins October 31
Ends November 2
Date October 31
Next time 31 October 2014
Duration 3 days
Frequency annual
Related to Hallowmas
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