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These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. It is also believed the bright petals with a strong scent can guide the souls from cemeteries to their family homes.
Toys are brought for dead children los angelitos , or "the little angels" , and bottles of tequila , mezcal or pulque or jars of atole for adults.
Some families have ofrendas in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto "bread of dead" , and sugar skulls ; and beverages such as atole.
The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased. Pillows and blankets are left out so the deceased can rest after their long journey.
In many places, people have picnics at the grave site, as well. Some families build altars or small shrines in their homes;  these sometimes feature a Christian cross , statues or pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary , pictures of deceased relatives and other people, scores of candles, and an ofrenda.
Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar, praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased. In some locations, celebrants wear shells on their clothing, so when they dance, the noise will wake up the dead; some will also dress up as the deceased.
Public schools at all levels build altars with ofrendas , usually omitting the religious symbols. Government offices usually have at least a small altar, as this holiday is seen as important to the Mexican heritage.
Those with a distinctive talent for writing sometimes create short poems, called calaveras skulls , mocking epitaphs of friends, describing interesting habits and attitudes or funny anecdotes.
This custom originated in the 18th or 19th century after a newspaper published a poem narrating a dream of a cemetery in the future, "and all of us were dead", proceeding to read the tombstones.
A common symbol of the holiday is the skull in Spanish calavera , which celebrants represent in masks , called calacas colloquial term for skeleton , and foods such as sugar or chocolate skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead.
Sugar skulls can be given as gifts to both the living and the dead. Other holiday foods include pan de muerto , a sweet egg bread made in various shapes from plain rounds to skulls and rabbits , often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones.
The traditions and activities that take place in celebration of the Day of the Dead are not universal, often varying from town to town.
There is also dancing with colorful costumes, often with skull-shaped masks and devil masks in the plaza or garden of the town.
At midnight on November 2, the people light candles and ride winged boats called mariposas butterflies to Janitzio, an island in the middle of the lake where there is a cemetery, to honor and celebrate the lives of the dead there.
In contrast, the town of Ocotepec , north of Cuernavaca in the State of Morelos , opens its doors to visitors in exchange for veladoras small wax candles to show respect for the recently deceased.
In return the visitors receive tamales and atole. This is done only by the owners of the house where someone in the household has died in the previous year.
Many people of the surrounding areas arrive early to eat for free and enjoy the elaborate altars set up to receive the visitors. Another peculiar tradition involving kids is La Danza de los Viejitos the dance of the old men when boy and young men dressed as granpas crouch and then jump in an energetic dance.
Some people believe possessing Day of the Dead items can bring good luck. Many people get tattoos or have dolls of the dead to carry with them.
They also clean their houses and prepare the favorite dishes of their deceased loved ones to place upon their altar or ofrenda. During Day of the Dead festivities, food is both eaten by living people and given to the spirits of their departed ancestors as ofrendas "offerings".
Pan de muerto and calaveras are associated specifically with Day of the Dead. Pan de muerto is a type of sweet roll shaped like a bun, topped with sugar, and often decorated with bone-shaped phalanges pieces.
In addition to food, drink is also important to the tradition of Day of the Dead. Historically, the main alcoholic drink was pulque while today families will commonly drink the favorite beverage of their deceased ancestors.
Jamaican iced tea is a popular herbal tea made of the flowers and leaves of the Jamaican hibiscus plant Hibiscus sabdariffa , known as flor de Jamaica in Mexico.
It is served cold and quite sweet with a lot of ice. The ruby-red beverage is called hibiscus tea in English-speaking countries and called agua de Jamaica water of Jamaica in Spanish.
The celebration is known as Hanal Pixan which means "food for the souls" in their language. Altars are constructed and decorated with food, drinks, candies, and candles put on them.
In pre-Columbian times indigenous Andeans had a tradition of sharing a day with the bones of their ancestors on the third year after burial. Today families keep only the skulls for such rituals.
Traditionally, the skulls of family members are kept at home to watch over the family and protect them during the year.
The skulls are also sometimes taken to the central cemetery in La Paz for a special Mass and blessing. Similar to other Day of the Dead celebrations, people go to cemeteries and churches with flowers and candles and offer prayers.
The celebration is intended as a positive honoring of the dead. Memorializing the dead draws from indigenous, African and European Catholic origins.
Guatemalan celebrations of the Day of the Dead, on November 1, are highlighted by the construction and flying of giant kites  in addition to the traditional visits to grave sites of ancestors.
A big event also is the consumption of fiambre , which is made only for this day during the year. In Ecuador the Day of the Dead is observed to some extent by all parts of society, though it is especially important to the indigenous Kichwa peoples, who make up an estimated quarter of the population.
Indigena families gather together in the community cemetery with offerings of food for a day-long remembrance of their ancestors and lost loved ones.
Ceremonial foods include colada morada , a spiced fruit porridge that derives its deep purple color from the Andean blackberry and purple maize.
This is typically consumed with guagua de pan , a bread shaped like a swaddled infant, though variations include many pigs—the latter being traditional to the city of Loja.
The bread, which is wheat flour-based today, but was made with masa in the pre-Columbian era, can be made savory with cheese inside or sweet with a filling of guava paste.
These traditions have permeated mainstream society, as well, where food establishments add both colada morada and gaugua de pan to their menus for the season.
Many non-indigenous Ecuadorians visit the graves of the deceased, cleaning and bringing flowers, or preparing the traditional foods, too. Usually people visit the cemetery and bring flowers to decorate the graves of dead relatives.
Sometimes people play music at the cemetery. In many American communities with Mexican residents, Day of the Dead celebrations are very similar to those held in Mexico.
In some of these communities, in states such as Texas ,  New Mexico ,  and Arizona ,  the celebrations tend to be mostly traditional. The event combines elements of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations with those of pagan harvest festivals.
People wearing masks carry signs honoring the dead and an urn in which people can place slips of paper with prayers on them to be burned. People bring offerings of flowers, photos, mementos, and food for their departed loved ones, which they place at an elaborately and colorfully decorated altar.
A program of traditional music and dance also accompanies the community event. Day of the Dead. In other communities, interactions between Mexican traditions and American culture are resulting in celebrations in which Mexican traditions are being extended to make artistic or sometimes political statements.
An updated, intercultural version of the Day of the Dead is also evolving at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Colorful native dancers and music intermix with performance artists , while sly pranksters play on traditional themes.
Similar traditional and intercultural updating of Mexican celebrations are held in San Francisco. Corazon Del Pueblo has a shop offering handcrafted Mexican gifts and a museum devoted to Day of the Dead artifacts.
Here, a mix of several Mexican traditions come together with traditional Aztec dancers, regional Mexican music, and other Mexican artisans to celebrate the day.
As part of a promotion by the Mexican embassy in Prague, Czech Republic , since the late 20th century, some local citizens join in a Mexican-style Day of the Dead.
A theatre group produces events featuring masks, candles, and sugar skulls. Mexican-style Day of the Dead celebrations occur in major cities in Australia , Fiji , and Indonesia.
Additionally, prominent celebrations are held in Wellington , New Zealand, complete with altars celebrating the deceased with flowers and gifts.
Filipinos traditionally observe this day by visiting the family dead to clean and repair their tombs. Offerings of prayers, flowers, candles,  and even food, while Chinese Filipinos additionally burn joss sticks and kim.
Many also spend the day and ensuing night holding reunions at the cemetery, having feasts and merriment. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the Mexican holiday. For other uses, see Day of the Dead disambiguation. This section needs additional citations for verification.
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Festival of the Dead. Archived from the original on October 11, Retrieved October 31, El Museo del Barrio. Archived from the original on October 27, Quienes murieron por un rayo o ahogadas iban al Tlalocan.
La viuda pide una ayuda, para su pobre criatura". El Estado de Chiapas cuenta con una gran gama de tradiciones y folklore.
Finalmente se les encienden velas y cirios encima de las tumbas para que las almas se encuentren iluminados en su trayecto. A las personas que visiten esta comunidad se les pide que respetuosamente se adentren en sus costumbres, ya que es un legado de suma importancia para ellos.
Locamente enamorados, no pudieron desposarse por la inesperada llegada de los conquistadores. Tzitziki Changunga flor de Changunga , son cantos en los que se compara a la mujer con las flores por su delicadeza, finura y exquisitez.
Nadie interrumpe sus coloquios amorosos, mientras tanto las estrellas fulguran interesantemente en las aventuras, las campanas tocan desesperadamente y el lago gime como un alma en pena.
Hacia las 12 de la noche del 1o. Participar en esta fiesta es cumplir con un deber sagrado para los muertos, que hacen honor a quienes lo practican.
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