SOUTHERN UTAH — When the Halloween hauntings are over, a more serious and respectful celebration of ancestors gets under way and the tone changes to a happier note.
The traditional Day of The Dead (Dia de Muertos) celebrations follow Halloween, the most famous of which take place in Mexico over two days, Nov. 1 and 2, during which the passing of loved ones to the other side is recognized.
Those who celebrate Dia de Muertos believe that on Oct. 31, the gates of heaven are opened at midnight and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On Nov. 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
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Offerings are bought to place on an altar, including photos of the dead, little candles, gifts and incense to guide them on their journey and sweet pan de muerto, or “bread of the dead.”
There’s been a lot of talk about The Day Of The Dead recently, as it features at the spectacular start of “Spectre,” the new James Bond installment. But how much do you actually know about this world of sugar skulls and loved ones who have passed away?
In case the answer is “not much,” here’s a colorful guide: