The Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos or All Souls' Day) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Latin Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day which occurs on November 1st and All Souls' Day which occurs on November 2nd. 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. ~ Wikipedia
This is a decidedly joyous celebration that centers around the belief that the souls of all loved ones return from their netherworld destinations (Heaven, Hell or Purgatory) to this world in order to rejoice together with living. There is no crying on Day of the Dead. Per elders, "the path back to the living world must not be made slippery by tears."
For more information, please visit MexConnect for a wonderfully insightful series of articles.
Here a few photos I snapped to give you an idea of the beauty we saw. Loving, detailed altars, gorgeous artwork, the main stage that was filled with music and dancing, people in costumes, etc. Truly an event not to be missed by anyone who is interested in cemeteries and death culture in general.
The Cathedral Mausoleum was transformed into an art gallery
One of the many beautiful, heartfelt altars honoring a dearly departed loved one