The Day of the Dead is a major celebration that originated in Mexico and has spread around the world. The Day of the dead is officially on November 2, and it correlates with All Souls Day in the Catholic Liturgical Calendar, however, celebrations begin as early October 31 and can last for three days.
Day of the dead is celebrated with music, plays and other forms of entertainment, dedicated to the memories of the dearly departed.
Families attend Mass on All Saints Day, which is November 1st, then perform private devotions for the dead afterward. Small altars are built in homes, schools and even government offices for offerings and prayers. Families leave offerings for the departed. For adults, small alcoholic beverages, or favorite dishes may be placed on headstones. Parents may leave small toys for their deceased children.
Children are celebrated specifically on Nov. 1, which is known as the Day of the Innocents and everyone else on November 2.
The skull, a symbol of death, is a common depiction during the holiday and features prominently in their art. Young women often paint skulls on their faces. A common practice is to paint just half the face as a skull, to illustrate the quick transition between life and death.
Day of the dead has spread in popularity around the world, especially in Latin America and the United States.
In the USA, celebrations, which can happen at schools and in public spaces, are also a way to share Mexican heritage and solidarity while preserving an important Mexican-Catholic tradition.