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Last updateFri, 03 Dec 2021 2pm

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Tributes to the dearly departed

One of the most fascinating facets of Mexico’s commemoration of Día de Muertos is the custom of creating memorial altars laden with offerings to attract lost souls for holiday visits with living loved ones.

A practice based on rituals dating back to the pre-Hispanic era, the tradition has evolved over five centuries since the arrival of Spanish conquistadores. Christian customs associated with the celebration of All Saints and All Souls Days and foods of European origin have been adopted and synthesized with those of Mesoamerican cultures.

Diverse details of the ofrenda vary widely from one region of the country to another, state to state, town by town and even household to household. Like snowflakes, no two ofrendas are identical in their design or execution. It all depends upon the individual tastes, ideas and creative talents of the persons who put up the altars.   

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