The Day of the Dead celebrations, known in Spanish as Dia de los Muertos take place on November 1st and 2nd, coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. November 1st is dedicated to remember the children while the 2nd is for the dead adults.
It is a common belief that during these days the souls of the dead are allowed to come to this world and visit their loved ones. All around Mexico families gather in the cemeteries to clean and decorate the tombstones of their ancestors. Families prepare their departed loved one’s favorite foods and picnic at the grave site. It is a bittersweet celebration.
Special flowers are used to decorate tombstones and altars during this time. It is believed that the smell of the flowers will make the returning souls feel welcomed and happy.
One of the most popular flowers is the bright yellow-orange Cempasúchil (Tagetes erecta) or Mexican Marigold. Galdiolus and Cockscombs are also quite popular.