Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses ongatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays ofAll Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls,marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead issometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two actually have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying and eating is common.Family altars are vibrant. The living shower the deceased with food and presents and decorate the graves and recount their stories of their loved ones. The bright gold marigoldflowers ,food and drinks serve as beacons, if not runways, to guide spirits home back to their loved ones.
CRAFTS AND FOOD
Many foreigners are introduced to Day of the Dead viahandicrafts, including paper mache skeletons (calacas) and candy skulls. Sweets and candy skulls are traditionally intended for the souls of departed children, who return toearth in the late afternoon of November 2.Day of the Dead Bread (Pan de muertos) is decorated with strips of dough which appear like human bones. Bread is one of thecenterpiece items on every altar. Extra loaves are shared with mortal guests.Another traditional dish is the calabaza en tacha, cooked squash sweetened with cinnamon and brown sugar.