El Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican originated holiday that is celebrated on November 2nd. This day honors the lives of the deceased with food, drinks, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Although this holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated in other parts of Latin America and throughout the Mexican-American communities in the United States.
There are many different traditions that go along with this holiday to remember the dead. Home altars are made and decorated with flowers, pictures, candles, sugar skulls, and the person's favorite food, drinks and possessions. Pan de Muertos, a traditional holiday cake, and sugar skulls are common symbols associated with the holiday.
Family and friends come together to clean and decorate their loved ones' grave sites with flowers and candles and bring them offerings. While at the cemetery, they spend time partaking in activities the deceased enjoyed, such as playing cards, singing and drinking. The holiday makes those who have passed on a presence in the community.
The streets nearby are lively decorated with papel picado, where parades and festivals take place. Dia de Los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of life, is not a gloomy nor morbid occasion, rather it is a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed away.
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