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Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrates departed loved ones

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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: A woman dressed as a "Catrina" takes part in the Procession of Catrinas, at Reforma Avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico on October 23, 2022. (Daniel Cardenas - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 03, 2022 - 01:31 AM

MEXICO CITY(AA) – Mexicans commemorated their departed loved ones in the annual celebration known as the Day of the Dead on Wednesday.

Grounded in the pre-Hispanic tradition of helping the dead on their journey to the underworld, the Day of the Dead is a diverse celebration that has its origins in Mexican indigenous cultures.

In Mexico’s indigenous culture, the belief is that the souls of the dead return yearly to the world of the living to their homes and to spend time with relatives.

Celebrations vary with cultures and families typically pay tribute to the dead through altars adorned with flowers and offerings of their loved ones’ favorite foods and beverages.

It is believed that some of the departed souls feast on the offerings while visiting.

Celebrations include decorating graves with flowers and making altars on gravestones, which in indigenous times, had great significance because it was thought to help lead the souls through to the underworld.

“In my family, we prepare the altar the night of Nov. 1. We fill the altar with food and traditional candles and we stay up all night talking about them, remembering their lives while the candles are consumed,” Jazmin Leon from Quintana Roo told Anadolu Agency.

Around 89,000 people visited Mexico City’s 120 public and private cemeteries on Nov. 1 to pay tribute to departed loved ones.

In other parts of the country, celebrations are not limited to early November but they encompass days in October to prepare tributes.

In Campeche in the southeast, the people of Pomuch begin preparations in mid-October, when the remains of relatives are retrieved from graves and cleansed before Oct. 31.

“It is beautiful and a sign of respect to remember our deceased in this way. To remember with affection what they were and that death is part of life,” Juan Marquez told Anadolu Agency.

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