Day of the Dead

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

An array of dressed up skeletons on Day of the Dead at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary, in California.

Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1 in Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and other parts of Central and South America. Families gather to pray to the souls of dead relatives, asking them to return for just one night. People decorate altars in their homes and gravesites with food, candles, candy skulls and marigolds to welcome the souls back to earth. Skeletons are displayed throughout cities, and people dressed as skeletons parade through the streets. Pan de los muertos (bread of the dead) is baked in the shape of skulls and crossbones, and a toy is hidden inside each loaf. The person who bites into the toy is said to have good luck. Day of the Dead sounds like a grim event, but it’s a time to celebrate and remember the lives of dead family members.

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