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Published: Wednesday, 11/1/2006

Day of the Dead: Blend of cultures pays tribute to departed loved ones

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrates the lives and memories of departed loved ones about Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

The observance is a blend of Mexico's Aztec culture and Christianity. Ancient belief holds that the dead will return to visit family and friends, eat, drink, and enjoy music.

Day of the Dead is observed in Mexico, the Philippines, other countries, and increasingly in the United States.

Many people celebrate by visiting cemeteries and tidying up tombstones on which they set a photograph of their loved one, the departed's favorite food and drink, and orange marigolds. Some people make tabletop altars in their homes, schools, and workplaces.

• View the Dia de los Muertos service.

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