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Día De Los Muertos Comes To Life Across The Mexican Diaspora

As more people celebrate the holiday in Mexico and the U.S., the tradition has evolved, but its spirit remains the same.
Adolfo Arguello places a flower on the Day of the Dead altar he made in his home to commemorate his mother-in-law, who died when his wife was 2-months old. Source: Jennifer Kerrigan

Decorative sugar skulls line the the front of the colorful, four-tiered altar. Cempasúchiles in bloom are scattered between painted skeletons, unlit candles and plates of food resting on pink papel picado, an intricately designed tissue paper.

Three banners hang above the display. In the center, La Catrina, the female skeletal figure that has become an icon for the occasion, is painted with a declaration: Día De Muertos. Day of the Dead.

Adolfo Arguello came to the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., to he was missing for his altar at home. It's the first one he and his wife, who moved to D.C. about a year ago, will have in their home – and the first Day of the Dead holiday for their 7-month-old daughter, Maia.

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