The Day of the Dead, unlike Halloween, is traditional throughout México and many other parts of Latin America, with origins that date back to the pre-Columbian period. Essentially, it is a time to celebrate friends and family who have passed away. November 2 is the official date, but remembrances are observed from October 31 – November 2.
During this time, families will often visit the gravesites of deceased relatives, or make ofrendas, “offerings” placed on small altars in their homes to honor the departed. The altars are often adorned with food or drinks favored by the lost loved one, as well as things like candles, photos, calaveras de azúcar (candies in the shape of skulls), pan de muerto (special Day of the Dead bread ) and cempasúchil flowers (Aztec marigolds). Catrina figures, female skeletons dressed in elaborately colorful costumes, are also a common sight during Day of the Dead celebrations, as well as being big sellers in many souvenir stores.