In October I shared with you my Dia de Los Muertos-style Jack O’ Lantern. Today I’m sharing more about this fascinating celebration. I recently visited Los Angeles’ Dia de Los Muertos celebration in Grand Park for the second year and was again impressed with the beauty and emotions associated with the event.

Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage here in Southern California and elsewhere. And whereas Halloween is a dark night of terror and mischief, The Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy.

The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for, and remember, friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. 

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

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