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Dios De Los Muertos! Day of the dead is a Mexican holiday focused on gathering of family and friends to remember loved ones who passed away. The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to a pre-Columbian past. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors had been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,500–3,000 years. In the pre-Hispanic era skulls were commonly kept as trophies and displayed during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth. In most…

Dios De Los Muertos! Day of the dead is a Mexican holiday focused on gathering of family and friends to remember loved ones who passed away. The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to a pre-Columbian past. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors had been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,500–3,000 years. In the pre-Hispanic era skulls were commonly kept as trophies and displayed during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth. In most…

The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the monthlong ritual.  Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.

The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the monthlong ritual. Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.

Are you an educator or parent looking for ways to teach children about Day of the Dead? The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum has interactiv...

Are you an educator or parent looking for ways to teach children about Day of the Dead? The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum has interactiv...

Candles burn within an image depicting a symbol dedicated to the Gede, a family of spirits that embody the power of death and fertility, during a Day of the Dead voodoo ritual in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Candles burn within an image depicting a symbol dedicated to the Gede, a family of spirits that embody the power of death and fertility, during a Day of the Dead voodoo ritual in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Sugar Skulls are Exchanged Between Friends for Day of the Dead Festivities, Oaxaca, Mexico Photographic Print by Judith Haden at AllPosters.com

Sugar Skulls are Exchanged Between Friends for Day of the Dead Festivities, Oaxaca, Mexico Photographic Print by Judith Haden at AllPosters.com

- Photo courtesy Xcaret The Mexican Riviera, Xcaret theme park in the Riviera Maya hosts an annual Festival de la Vida y la Muerte, "Festival of Life and Death," in honor of the Day of the Dead. The festival runs from October 30th to November 2nd, and includes theater and dance performances, concerts, conferences, parades and special tours, as well as special Day of the Dead rituals.

- Photo courtesy Xcaret The Mexican Riviera, Xcaret theme park in the Riviera Maya hosts an annual Festival de la Vida y la Muerte, "Festival of Life and Death," in honor of the Day of the Dead. The festival runs from October 30th to November 2nd, and includes theater and dance performances, concerts, conferences, parades and special tours, as well as special Day of the Dead rituals.

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