Day of the Dead

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Happy Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! The celebration begins on October 31 and runs through November 2.

The day has its roots in ancient Aztec tradition, but grew in prominence by the middle of the twentieth century as a way for people with different beliefs and traditions to come together to honor the memory of ancestors who pass away each year. Elaborate sugar skulls are decorated, altars of food and drink are set out for the spirits of the dead, marigolds and other flowers are crafted from paper, and families visit the graves of loved ones.

If you'd like to celebrate Day of the Dead this year, check out events at IU's Mathers Museum of World Cultures.

Credo and National Geographic have more on the history and traditions of this festival—and if you're looking for stories about the Day of the Dead, try Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, A Gift for Abuelita by Nancy Luenn, Stitched by Mariah McCourt, or Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh.