The Day of the Dead is what? A gathering to honor the departed and the living.

November 2, 2022By Rithik Solanki

Tradition holds that the heavens open on the Day of the Dead, allowing the dead to momentarily visit the earth.

The most significant fiesta in Mexico is held every year when people congregate in cemeteries to honor their deceased family members. Tradition holds that when the skies open, the spirits of the deceased return to the earth.

DAY OF THE DEAD
DAY OF THE DEAD

It goes beyond a single day. Families actually call back the spirits of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion during this two-day event, which is customarily held on November 1 and 2. Food, beverages, and even toys are placed at altars to tempt the visiting souls.

It is celebrated rather than observed as a solemn occasion since it is thought that the living and the dead can communicate at this time.

"This is a festive occasion. When our relatives passed away, there was sadness, but on this day, we need to let them know that we are happy to remember them, according to Yoroslay Delgado, speaking to Al Jazeera.

"We sing and dance to make them feel welcome."

Depending on the area, the celebrations could begin on October 28. In some places, the holiday is observed on November 6.

People look at a giant skeleton during the Day of the Dead parade, in Mexico City.

It is a national holiday in Mexico, but it is also observed in other regions of the Americas, including Spain, the Philippines, and Latin America.

The event is thought to have originated from Indigenous cultures thousands of years ago as a pre-Hispanic custom.

Death was temporary in the eyes of the Aztecs, and afterlife was not final. Some experts assert that these customs were included into the Catholic calendar following the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century and are currently observed in conjunction with All Souls' Day.

The festivity is a national holiday in Mexico.

Many families in Mexico will spend November 1 honoring the kids, sometimes known as "angelitos" (little angels), by placing toys and balloons on their graves. They will observe All Souls Day, a holiday honoring adults who have passed away, on November 2.

To honor their loved ones, families erect "ofrendas" (altars) on their graves. Additionally, they utilize marigolds known as cempasuchil flowers, which are thought to help guide the spirits of the deceased back to their homes in the family cemetery.

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