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It is easy to see why these celebrations can be heartbreaking, even to outsiders.
The skull is a common symbol of the holiday and it is common for women to paint all or one-half of their face with a skull.
Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a series of commemorative days dedicated to those who have died. This is a solemn occasion, with few actual festivities.
2, and coincides with the Catholic holy days of All Saints (Nov. Families often come together over this period and preparations can be made during the entire year leading up to the Day of the Dead.
The half-skull painted on the face, particularly of a youthful woman, represents the brief transition between life and death.
The holiday itself has multiple traditional origins, chiefly Catholic.
Day of the Dead is an occasion to offer those prayers.
Traditions connected with the holiday 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.Instead, people visit and repair graves of their dearly departed.It is common to light candles, leave offerings of prepared foods, often a favorite meal, and to pray and play music.Day of the Dead is an occasion to pray for these departed people in purgatory.Many Mexicans also trace their celebrations back to ancient Mesoamerican cultures.