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1 02 9 be lief in br ief day of t he dead


Belief in brief: Day of the Dead


By Lauren Y*gung



The Day of the Dead, also knov,rr as "El Dia de los Muertos," is a celebration of a time
when the dead are believed to return to their families.


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alsoknor,r'nas "El Dia de los Muertos,"is celebratedduring the first daysof Novembert
on Nov. z. It is a day to honor family membersand friendswho havepassedarvay.
This holidayis lypicallycelebratedin Mexicoand by Latin Americansliving in the
United States.


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Americathe festivalr,r'asmovedfrom the ninth month on the Aztec caiendarto
coincidewith the Catholichoiidaysof All Saints'Day and All Souls'Day. he feitival
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to its currentaut",xoiTi'rr"il
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| 19697

Video: History ql_Da-v

of the Dead


It is believedthat the spirits of thelqg_;;:*li dead comeback to Earth during late

Octoberand early November m-y$ltq Familiesand friends obsene many
customsin order to make sure that the spirit u,ill be comfortableduring its visit.

Dia de los Angelitos,is the day when spirits of children

Novemberr, bl:gh..o_.}:?.gi-jEl
are believedto visit. Novemberz, the Day of the Dead,is when the spirits of the adult
deadvisit their loved ones.

Families traditionally clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones. Many times
flowers are placed on the grave. A traditional florver is the orange marigold, r,r,hichis
believed to direct the attention of the spirit ton ard the offerings on their grave., Items
\\" dead rn,erefond of are also left at the grave site - for example,
[h e connotati on 99srye.d{iglt !U Ulglg_tg;l -e-
Alters and small shrines are commonl,vconstructed in honres. Thev are often
food, candles,crossesol'an image
decorate{-b_yn.ith an image of the deaQdec.e-as-e-dl,
of the Virgin Uary1,"t'rr such as a u,ashbor,r,lor a shaving irit rnal'be included
so the spirit can clean up after its long trip. Alters are also sometimes constructed in
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publicplaces'qU3cg.slsrrch and Ggovernmentoffices.
' as schools

Posaditsuch as Catrina, a skeletal

Images created b), Mexican artist.lose Gugd,qlLrlie
parodyof an upper-class arealso g_11hitlrgii+.?i
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rq****l$*,ffi ,*p,m.*{::*rrffi I T"):.:l.:1,!reImageoI u
skeleton dressedin fine clothes has become a common image during the Day of the

Video: Dav of the Deadtraciitions


A fer,r'traditional foods are:

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| 196971..

SugarSkulls: Skulls made from sugarand decoratedwith icing. They are commonly
placedon alters and with other offeringsto the deadffigs$tQ. The sugar skull has its
roots in Aztectraditions that celebratedthe lives of those who have passedawav.

Pan de Muerto: A sweetbread tha is eatendurins the Dav of the Dead.I is also
placedon alters, shrinesand gravesites.

Tamales:Corn husks filled with corn dough.They are commonly filled with pork or
chickenwith red or greensalsa.


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