Day of the Dead is a blend of Mesoamerican traditions with the catholicism brought by the Spaniards. It is celebrated on November 1st, when the souls of children come down, and November 2nd when the rest of the souls come visit their family. It is a beautiful holiday through which we honor our ancestors and all those that came before us.
During the festivities it is customary to set up an altar with the photos of our dearly departed, dressed in colorful papel picado, cempasuchil flowers, and the honorary guests' favorite foods and other things they enjoyed during their time on earth. Candles and cempasuchil petals guide them home to their altar, salt is set for purification, and water to quench their thirst. Copal is burned to fill the rooms with its cleansing fragance, and a xoloitzcuintle dog is placed there as well to guide the soul back to the other side. It is not a spooky holiday, it is a day of celebration of life, remembrance, and the hope that some day we will get to visit our own altar to see our loved ones again.