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Day of the Dead Customs and Traditions


Day of the Dead is the Mexican holiday celebrating the spirit of your deceased loved ones. Celebrations traditionally begin at midnight on October 31st and continue until November 2. While each town and region in Mexico has its own unique Day of the Dead customs, there are certain universal traditions that have developed over the centuries.


Altars

Elaborate home altars, called ofrenda's, are traditionally made to honor those departed spirits who have come back home for a brief visit. Food and personal memorabilia are left on the altar, and it is believed that the spirits will consume the essence and enjoy their aroma of the offerings. After the spirits have returned to the spirit world, family and friends will enjoy a feast of the altar foods.


Also traditionally left on the home altar is a sugar skull, which has the departed person's name inscribed on it. Marigolds, called cempasuchil in Spanish, are a seasonal flower, which grace the Day of the Dead altars. And pan de muertos is a special bread traditionally baked for the holiday.


Cemeteries

In addition to building altars at one's home, many people traditionally visit cemeteries and decorate their family members' graves. Some villagers leave a path of flower petals between the cemetery and their homes, so their loved ones can find the way. In other towns, people spend the whole night at the cemetery, having a festive celebration that includes music, food and even alcohol.



The Connection to Halloween

Day of the Dead celebrations have continually changed and adapted throughout modern history, bridging a diversity of cultures and customs in Mexico and to the north, in the United States.


Celebrations for Day of the Dead are also becoming increasingly popular in America, especially in communities with large Hispanic populations. As these festivities have taken root, the influence of Halloween is growing -- not only in the U.S. but also back in Mexico. Mexican children now go trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes has become a popular tradition.






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Related Articles:
Los Dias de los Muertos (Days of the Dead)
What Are Calacas?
Los Dias de los Muertos - Calacas (Wrestling)
Los Dias de los Muertos - Calacas (Cerveza in the Park)
The History of Day of the Dead


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Comments
Comment
george from Indiana, US
18:54 11/21/2011
 
es muy stupido personas y no ingles el dia de los muertos
Comment
Carolina from Texas, US
13:38 11/02/2011
 
for all you people, im from TEXAS, and i live in a town right next to the border of Mexico & the U.S. So yess!!! this is a Mexican/Hispanic holiday :) & SPANISH is the main language.
Comment
John Trico from Washington, US
07:38 10/27/2011
 
Dumbass!! It is not only a Mexican holiday! It is Hispanic! Ellos es muy estupidos!! Arriba Arriba!!
Comment
alex coop from Canada
15:09 05/09/2011
 
this is a very cool site
Comment
Samuel Savage from South Carolina, US
11:18 12/17/2010
 
This is a nice article. I think that you should put what language they speak on this day on though.
Comment
Cali from Connecticut, US
09:09 10/27/2010
 
Great webpage! I really need the author though for bibliography in Library at my School! I have a big project due on November 3rd and I need the author! Other than that GREAT article!
Comment
danya
12:37 09/27/2010
 
I NEED THE AUTHOR ... :D
Comment
oscar
09:28 05/07/2010
 
this helps thanks
Comment
tyler from Pennsylvania, US
13:40 02/07/2010
 
this really helped thnq
Comment
Katt from Missouri, US
10:40 01/14/2010
 
nice and thanx for the info !!




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