Day of the Dead, El Día de Los Muertos
Photographs were taken at a public cemetery during The Day of The Dead celebrations in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Day of the Dead, El Día de los Muertos, or All Souls' Day, is a holiday celebrated all over the world in honor of our beloved deceased. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.
In Mexico, El Día de los Muertos is actually a celebration of life. The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to the indigenous Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mexican or Aztec, Maya, P'urhépecha, and Totonac. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2500-3000 years.
In most regions of Mexico, November 1 honors children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2 by taunting them in their grave. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1 mainly as "Día de los Inocentes" (Day of the Innocents) but also as "Día de los Angelitos" (Day of the Little Angels) and November 2 as "Día de los Muertos" or "Día de los Difuntos" (Day of the Dead).
The Day of the Dead celebration occurs on the 2nd of November in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day which occurs on Nov 1st and All Souls' Day which occurs on Nov 2nd. Traditions 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.
Similar holidays are celebrated in many parts of the world; it's a public holiday (Dia de Finados) in Brazil, where many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their loved ones who have died. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe and in the Philippines, and similar celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.