Day of the Dead 2019 – when is the Mexico festival and how is it linked to Halloween?

DAY of the Dead celebrations are set to begin in Mexico as millions of revelers paint their faces and construct altars to honor their lost loved ones.

But what happens during the annual festival, how long does it last, and where did it come from?

What is the Day of the Dead?

In a number of different cultures, there is a dedicated celebration made especially to remember the lives of family and friends who have passed away.

The Mexican Day of the Dead festival is a time where revellers are encouraged to pray for lost loved ones, to help them through their journey in the afterlife.

On the Dia de Muertos, those who observe the day often construct their own private altars, where they honour the dead with a number of different gifts.

Sugar skulls and marigolds are among the offerings given up, as well as the favorite food and drinks of the departed.

This year the Day of the Dead is on Monday, November 1 and ends on Tuesday, November 2.

How is it linked to Halloween?

While the primary concern of the Day of the Dead festival is to honour those in the afterlife, the celebrations have become even more vibrant as the decades have gone by.

Children have since begun going to their neighbor's doors in costumes for gifts, in a similar way to Halloween trick-or-treaters.

The sugar skull tradition can actually be traced back to Europe and was only adopted in North America in the 18th century.

Around 300 years ago, the skulls would bear the names of those who had passed away.

Where did the Day of the Dead festival come from?

For around 2,500 and 3,000 years, rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors had been observed in Mexico among its pre-Columbian cultures.

The festival that would later become the Day of the Day took place in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, around August, and was celebrated for an entire month.

By the late 20th century, in many Mexican regions, it was being held on November 1 and 2.

Is Day of the Dead just celebrated in Mexico?

The festival is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a public holiday.

But the colorful event has also been adopted by other regions across the world in various forms.

In the Philippines on November 1, it is customary for families to visit the tombs and graves of their lost relatives.

A similar tradition is also carried out in Europe, where Roman Catholic regions celebrate All Souls Day.

Finally, Day of the Dead celebrations occurs in some major cities of Australia, Fiji and Indonesia.

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