Dia de los Muertos is a celebration which takes place across Mexican communities around the world, every year on November 1st and 2nd. In recent years the holiday has gained increased international exposure as the iconic Sugar Skulls so important to the Central American expression of the holiday have grown into a celebrated and highly fashionable global trend. Across Mexico and much of Central America, Calaveras (skulls) made of sugar are either made to be eaten or used as a highly celebrated decorative element at the center of the symbolism inherent to the holiday known asDia de los Muertos.

The joy of life and the connection of family at the heart of Dia de los Muertos

The sugar art aesthetic first found it's way to Mexico thanks to Italian missionaries during the 17th Century. A nation with abundant sugar cane production, sugar art such as the sugar skulls so central to Dia de los Muertos very quickly became a central element of religious and spiritual iconography and symbolism across Central America.

The tradition at the heart of this holidayis rooted in the belief that on October 31st of every year, the spirits of deceased children or angelitos as they are known in Mexico descend to Earth and are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2nd, deceased adults are able to join the festivities as well.

In this way, the Day of the Dead as it is commonly known in English is a remembrance ceremony which connects families and generates great healing and solidarity among communities.

In Mexican communities around the world, this holiday is viewed as a deeply symbolic way to connect with the past and to share traditions which bring communities together.

Dia de los Muertos is frequently celebrated in individual homes with altars adorned with candles, immense amounts of flowers, pilesof fruit, peanuts, dishesof turkey mole, many servings oftortillas and huge plates ofpan demuerto,a traditional bread made especially for the occasion. In the collective sense, celebrations for this holiday frequently involve large parades, musical performances and other community-wide celebrations meant to bring families together.

Day of the Dead celebrates the beauty of life itself

On the afternoon of November 2nd, it is very common forcelebrations to head to village graveyards or family plots where tombs are often cleaned or decorated and entire villages come together to share games, stories, and music which connects them to the passing of their ancestors. Dia de los Muertos may seem to outsiders to be a dark or sinister holiday but at the heart of this tradition is a rich and reverent celebration of life. This is a holiday that is meant to connect the community of the living to those who have come before. In this way, this holiday is a deeply symbolic celebration of life that generates unity and connection.

This ancient tradition is very important to many communities around the world and represents a very vibrant expression of traditional values in the modern world.

In this way, this traditional holidayis a very important cultural tradition with much to teach anyone interested in connecting deeper with their community and the people who made the lives we enjoy now possible.

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