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Día de Todos Muertos

(Day of the Dead) 

Día de Todos Muertos

1933, gelatin silver print, 8x10 in (20.3x25.4 cm)

Day of the dead is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of friends and family to pray for and remember loved ones who have died.  The celebration takes place on November 1-2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day’s (November 1) and All Soul’s Day (November 2).  Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.  They also leave possessions of the deceased.  A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (in Spanish calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (colloquial term for "skeleton").