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Vocabulary for the Day of the Dead

Right after Halloween, on November 1st and November 2nd, Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead, or El Dia de los Muertos. Unlike Halloween, where traditional activities like dressing up in costumes stem from an attempt to protect the living from the dead, traditional rituals on El Dia de los Muertos are intended to welcome dead friends and relatives.

On these two days, the spirits of the dead are said to be able to visit their families again. The first day of the celebration, November 1st, is for dead infants and children. The second day is for adults. To mark the holiday, families clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones, prepare special foods to give as offerings, and often spend the whole day and even the night at the cemetery. Read more