November 2 is observed annually in Mexico as Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead. During the observance, which has already recognized bt UNESCO World Heritage, people across the country pay their respects to their ancestors, decorating the deceased relatives’ graves and crafting makeshift altars honoring the departed.
"On that day, people visit the graves of their relatives; they bring along their (the deceased) favorite food and drink, and sometimes musical instruments and flowers. And the smaller the settlement, the more deep-rooted these traditions are. In Aguascalientes we eat skulls and death effigies made of sugar, and celebrations last for ten days," State of Aguascalientes’ Secretary of Tourism Irma Eugenio Medrano told Sputnik Mundo.
Celebrations usually begin several days ahead of the observance itself, and this year residents of Mexico City used the occasion to hold a rally on October 28 in memory of those killed during the earthquakes that hit the country in 2017.
"We die just like we are born – it’s all part of the our life cycle, and in our country we regard this observance as an opportunity to lift our spirits after the dramatic events that took place. We’re happy people who sing and dance as the observance helps us overcome our grief," Medrano explained.
He also added that every region of Mexico holds its own trademark celebration, ranging from dances and costumed parades to culinary fairs.
Klaudia Oliver, founder and director of the La Calaca (The Skull) festival held in the city of San Miguel de Allende, explained that their celebration has a more “modern flair” and is aimed at attracting “young revelers” to partake in the observance.
"For Mexico it is a way to connect with traditions of our ancestors as during the pre-Hispanic period death equaled transcendence, a link between the living and the dead. Today graveyards and houses are being filled with gifts and treats while the living reconcile with the dead; it’s all about the ability to revel and to grieve… And most importantly, this observance helps us value our life," she said.