Day of the Dead Symbol hanging outdoors front door in Greenwich Village.
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos)
The roots are pre-Colombian, and many of the symbols and practices are from indigenous groups of Meso America ( Maya and Aztec ).
Day of the Dead is not a sad or scary occasion, but a spirited holiday when people remember and honor family member who have died. The philosophy that death is not something to be feared, but a natural part of life.
Private and community altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased display portraits, favorite foods and special possession of their love ones, using sugar skulls, marigolds, candles and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.