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What’s El Día de los Muertos? It’s Not Scary, and It’s Not Halloween

 A dancer performs at the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company's annual
A dancer performs at the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s annual “Dia de los Muertos” production. Kristin Slaby / Kristin Slaby

What is El Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” as it’s now known in the U.S.?

Despite the white faces and the skulls, it’s not meant to be a spooky holiday and it’s not Halloween. Also known as Día de Muertos, the celebration originated in central and southern Mexico. Those who celebrate it believe that at midnight on October 31, the souls of all deceased children come down from heaven and reunite with their families on November 1, and the souls of deceased adults come visit on November 2.

Families make colorful altars in their homes in honor of their deceased loved ones, and the altars are decorated with flowers, candles, their loved one’s favorite food and pan de muerto (a slightly sweet bread specifically made for this time) . . .

Read more by Kristina Puga at NBC News

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