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10 Gorgeous Photos of the Day of the Dead Celebrations

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated through prayers, visits to graves, and parades. These pictures show just how beautiful that can be.

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Day of the Dead celebrations in MexicoPhoto: Diego Grandi/Shutterstock

Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout the world by people of Mexican ancestry. It takes places over the course of three days: October 31, November 1, and November 2. The holiday is a time for family and friends to remember and pray for those who have died and to guide them on their spiritual journey. (Never say these seven things at a funeral.)

During Dia de los Muertos, the dead are awakened and celebrate life with those that are still on earth because they don’t want the dead to be insulted with mourning and sadness. In addition to praying, many people build private altars called ofrendas, visit the graves of the departed, and participate in festivals and parades. Two very popular symbols of the holiday are calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls). You will see them everywhere during the holiday; painted on faces, as wooden figures and candles, and incorporated into costumes. The Mexican culture accepts death as a natural part of life and these pictures show just how beautiful that can be.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest