Día de los Muertos finds its origins in ancient Aztec festivals dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl.
Unlike Halloween, it's not just one night – it's a multi-day celebration that starts on October 31st.
Families create altars called "ofrendas" to honor their deceased loved ones with their favorite foods, drinks, and possessions.
Marigold petals are often scattered to create vibrant pathways for the spirits to follow.
Intricately decorated sugar skulls, or "calacas," and elegantly dressed skeletons known as "Catrinas" are iconic in Día de los Muertos.
Sugar skulls often have the names of the deceased written on them, making them unique to each individual.
Copal incense is burned during the celebrations as it's believed to purify the area and facilitate communication with the spirits.
Elaborate tissue paper cutouts, or "papel picado," are used to decorate the streets and altars.
Families bake special sweet bread, "Pan de Muerto," often decorated with dough shaped like bones, for the occasion.
Families visit cemeteries to clean and decorate the graves, often spending the entire night there, celebrating with their deceased loved ones.
La Calavera Catrina, a satirical print by José Guadalupe Posada, has become an iconic symbol of Día de los Muertos.
In some regions, altars are set up near rivers or lakes, creating "water altars" to help guide the spirits.
Traditional Mexican dishes like mole and tamales are prepared and enjoyed during this time.
Monarch butterflies are believed to be the souls of the departed returning to visit their loved ones.
In 2008, Día de los Muertos was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, acknowledging its significance.