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Celebrating Día De Los Muertos

With Halloween over, now its time to celebrate Día de Los Muertos. For those that do not know, Día de Los Muertos is a Mexican celebration that dates back to the Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. Not to be confused with Halloween, Día de Los Muertos is not a day you dress up and and ask for candy. This day is very special and spiritual to many Mexicans. The day focuses on remembering family and friends that have pass away.

Cemeteries are filled with families cleaning their loved ones graves and decorating them with flowers, favorite foods, and items of the deceased. To help guide the souls, lit candles are placed around the grave as a pathway. It is common to see celebrators wearing masks or actually painting sugar skulls on their faces, this is done to overcome the fear of death and welcome it.

Another tradition is to create an altar with ofrendas. The altar consists of a covered table with a few crates or boxes placed on top to create open shelves and other raised display areas. A picture of the deceased is placed on the alter surrounded by personal belongings and any offerings the person enjoyed in life such as a bottle of tequila or their favorite foods.

Día de los Muertos also has candy and goodies for the living to enjoy. Usually the streets of Mexico are filled with farmer market style stalls selling all kinds of candy skulls, Chocolate Coffins, pan de muerto, hot chocolate, and tamales. Along with these goodies you can also find stalls selling colorfully decorated ceramic skulls, skeleton figures dressed in traditional Mexican clothing, and all kind of toys relating to death.

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