DAY OF THE DEAD (DíA de los muertos / HANAL PIXÁN)
The Day of the Dead is a celebration in Mexico where family and friends gather to pray for and remember those who have passed on. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd.
It is traditional for families to set up altars in their homes to remember their departed loved ones. These are decorated with photographs of the people to be remembered, candy skulls, marigolds, pan de muerto (a sweet bread), candles and the favorite foods and beverages (chocolate, tequila, mezcal, etc) of the departed. These things are also taken to graves as gifts.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican celebration to indigenous practices dating back hundreds of years.
The Day of the Dead in the Yucatan peninsula is known as Hanal Pixan which means “Banquet for the Spirits”. In their homes, family members wait next to their altars for the souls of their lost ones to return, with offerings of unique dishes like Mucbil chicken, which is "cooked in the womb of Mother Earth" (cooked in a pit underground).