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Polycount Celebrates Day of the Dead

Updated: Jan 23

The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and parts of the US where there are numerous residents of Mexican origin. Normally, observed on November 1 and 2, the holiday is designed more to honor and remember the deceased rather than mourn their passing. The cultural significance of the holiday was recognized in 2008 by UNESCO when it was one of the first to be placed on the Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage which are designed to ensure greater awareness of and protection for major cultural events worldwide.

Customs and traditions related to The Day of the Dead include the making of family altars consisting of photos of the deceased, their favorite foods and drink, candles and even a basin with soap and a towel. All these things are meant to make the spirit of the deceased feel welcome.

Undoubtedly one of the most ubiquitous decorative themes of the holiday both on family altars and in the grand procession that is held in Mexico City on October 29 are the Calavera, or "sugar skull". The calavera is a representation of the skull created in cane sugar while the skeletons are made of a variety of materials including wood, sugar, nuts, and chocolate. La Catrina or "Calavera Catrina" is a skeleton wearing an elaborate costume, has become the symbol of the Day of the Dead.