El Dia del Los Muertos is a special holiday for a lot of people in the Latinx community—Mexican and Central Americans especially. The multi-day holiday which is celebrated over three days in Mexico (and other Latin American countries) takes place on October 31 (All Hallows Eve), November 1 (All Saints Day), and November 2 (All Souls Day). Altars are made by children on the 31st to invite the spirits of dead children (angelitos) to come back to visit their families on earth. The adult spirits visit on the All Souls Day and on the last day families attend cemeteries to decorate the graves and tombs of their ancestors.
A major part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration, which originated in ancient Mesoamerica, is the altar, or ofrenda (offering). It usually contains three levels—for Heaven, Earth, and the underworld and represents the four elements earth, wind, fire, and water. These several elements welcome, celebrate, and pay homage to the dead. Learn about 13 items you will see in practically every Dia de los Muertos altar.