The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos or All Saints Day) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Latinos (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.
The celebration occurs on the 2nd of November in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Though associated with the dead, indeed dedicated to their remembrance, it is quite the reverse of morbid; it is a period full of life, colour and festival. Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.