Hispanic Heritage Month 2019: Celebrating Dia de los Muertos

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a time to remember lost loved ones. The Mexican holiday goes back thousands of years and weaves together Mayan, Aztec and Spanish rituals with Catholicism. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated November 1-2 and is meant to welcome spirits back to visit the living.

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Ofrendas or altars are built in homes, cemeteries or other public places. Altars can include drinks, food, family photos, candles or other mementos. Marigolds are a common flower used to decorate altars. The Aztecs considered marigolds a sacred flower and used them for decorative and medicinal purposes. Pan dulce (sweet bread) is often placed on altars. Sugar skulls are also a common adornment. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. Children can participate by creating their own sugar skulls using arts and crafts.

While the celebration is popular in California and southwestern states, the beloved Disney and Pixar film "Coco" made Dia de lo Muertos more popular in the United States. "Coco" comes to life on stage at the Hollywood Bowl on November 8 and 9. The event includes a live orchestra and digital projections.

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A limited edition Barbie that celebrates the the centuries-old holiday is also set to hit stores this month.

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In Fresno, Arte Americas has a new exhibit with a Dia de Los Muertos theme plus events including Cala Gala.
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