In Mexico, the Day of the Dead holiday stretches from the eve of November 1 through November 2. During the celebration, family and friends gather to pray for and remember loved ones who have died – often with elaborate homemade altars.
Pre-Colombian civilizations celebrated the deaths of ancestors for perhaps as long as 2,500 to 3,000 years. The festival that developed into the modern Day of the Dead fell in the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the “Lady of the Dead.” With the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, the indigenous celebration was combined with the festivities of All Saints Days and All Souls Days, and was moved to the current dates.
I find this celebration fascinating not only from a cultural point of view but also from a visual one.