Dìa de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

A+couple+disguised+as+dead+poses+at+San+Jeronimo+Chicahualco+cemetery+in+Metepec%2C+Mexico+on+November+2%2C+2013+during+the+commemoration+of+the+Day+of+the+dead.+The+traditional+Catholic+holiday+honors+the+dead+and+is+celebrated+annually.+AFP+PHOTO+%2F+MVT+-+Mario+Vazquez++++++++%28Photo+credit+should+read+MARIO+VAZQUEZ%2FAFP%2FGetty+Images%29
A couple disguised as dead poses at San Jeronimo Chicahualco cemetery in Metepec, Mexico on November 2, 2013 during the commemoration of the Day of the dead. The traditional Catholic holiday honors the dead and is celebrated annually. AFP PHOTO / MVT - Mario Vazquez        (Photo credit should read MARIO VAZQUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A couple disguised as dead poses at San Jeronimo Chicahualco cemetery in Metepec, Mexico on November 2, 2013 during the commemoration of the Day of the dead. The traditional Catholic holiday honors the dead and is celebrated annually. AFP PHOTO / MVT - Mario Vazquez (Photo credit should read MARIO VAZQUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

A couple disguised as dead poses at San Jeronimo Chicahualco cemetery in Metepec, Mexico on November 2, 2013 during the commemoration of the Day of the dead. The traditional Catholic holiday honors the dead and is celebrated annually. AFP PHOTO / MVT - Mario Vazquez (Photo credit should read MARIO VAZQUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Ana Maria Ramirez-Valdiviez, Contributor

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The Day of the Dead Celebration is not a Mexican version of Halloween. Yes, it does say death, but it is a celebration of love and respect for our lost loved ones. The dead are still members of the community and they are kept alive through memory and spirit as they are brought temporarily to earth. Cities and towns in Mexico celebrate this event by dressing up, hold parades, and give offerings to their deceased. The holiday originated in Mexico, and it is celebrated all over Latin America. The Day of the Dead wouldn’t have been celebrated by other countries if it wasn’t for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for recognizing it as an important religion for Mexico. An altar is a centerpiece that is built in private homes or cemeteries where people would give offerings such as water, food (for the long journey), family photos, and candles for each relative. If a child has passed, then you would see toys on the altar. Marigolds are the main flowers that are used to decorate the altar, and they use them to help wandering souls back to their place of rest by scattering some petals from the altar to the gravesite. They also light copal incense that is made from tree resin to help purify the altar and the area around it. The Day of the Dead celebration in the U.S. will begin on Wednesday, October 31 and will end Friday, November 2. Join in to share the love and respect for our lost loved ones and to keep them forever in our memory and heart.

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Dìa de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)