It goes back to ancient traditions about 3,000 years ago, where rituals were performed to celebrate the death of the people of those civilizations.
By the end of the 20th century, the Mexican inhabitants had already begun to celebrate this day in the country. It is a two-day holiday, November 1 (to honor children and babies) and November 2 (to honor adults). People who celebrate this day believe that a bridge is opened between the world of the living and the spiritual world so that the deceased can cross it and visit their living relatives.
Mexico is the country that mostly celebrates this day, but there are others such as Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, and Venezuela.
Usually, families prepare several weeks before to carry out traditions with music, food, flowers, candles at burial sites, offerings, and more, showing a cheerful and colorful culture.
Some of the traditions are:
- Calendula flowers are used to guide the spirits to the burial site. That is because they have an intense color and a strong smell.
- Families place altars in their homes to make offerings such as photos, flowers, favorite foods of deceased loved ones, and other objects they enjoyed in life.
- Colorful sugar skulls are made and then placed on the altars. Sometimes they are usually drawn. Shredded paper is used to make silhouettes or spiritual figures on wood and placing them on the streets and sometimes on the altars.
- Food is a significant tradition for this day. Popular is the Pan de Muertos, tamales, pib (or mucbilpollo), and more.
- People often wear costumes related to the Day of the Dead and paint their faces as skeletons or skulls. Those costumes are in use during these festivals.