Saturday, 1 November 2008

Day of the Dead

There are only 54 shopping days left 'til Christmas and that means that in Mexico it's time to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. Traditions 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.

Scholars have traced the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl ("The Lady of the Dead").

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