Acknowledged in many other cultures, 'Day of the Dead' is a public holiday celebrated in Mexico and by people of Mexican ancestry living elsewhere, particularly within the United States. The festival today has spread all over the world and is often a three day celebration, where friends and family will gather together to remember and honour the dead, helping them along their spiritual journey.
Over the years, the celebration has moved from the Summer to the Autumn to coincide with the western Christian Allhallowtide - All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day.
Frances Ann Day summarizes the three-day celebration, the Day of the Dead:
|“||On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.||”|
|— Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature|