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  • A man rests at the grave site of a departed loved one at the San Gregorio cemetery during the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead holiday on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011. A tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2., families take picnics to the cemeteries and decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls. It is believed that the lit candles and the scent of the marigolds guide wandering souls back to their waiting families. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

  • Two people sit by a campfire at the San Gregorio cemetery during the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead holiday on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011. A tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2., families take picnics to the cemeteries and decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

  • Candles illuminate grave sites at the San Gregorio cemetery during the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead holiday on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011. A tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2., families take picnics to the cemeteries and decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

  • Candles illuminate grave sites at the San Gregorio cemetery during the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead holiday on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011. A tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2., families visit and take picnics to the cemeteries and decorate the graves of departed relatives with fresh flowers, candles and sugar skulls. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

  • Candles illuminate grave sites at the San Gregorio cemetery during the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead holiday on the outskirts of Mexico City, Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011. A tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2., families take picnics to the cemeteries and decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

  • A woman sits beside a relative's grave a

    A woman sits beside a relative's grave at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 1, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Picture of a miniature tomb put by a rel

    Picture of a miniature tomb put by a relative over the grave of a loved one at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 1, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People remain around a relative's grave

    People remain around a relative's grave at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 1, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Picture taken at the San Jose cemetery i

    Picture taken at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 1, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A child dressed like a clown sits on a g

    A child dressed like a clown sits on a grave at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 1, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People sit around a relative's grave at

    People sit around a relative's grave at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 1, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Two musician play at the San Isidro ceme

    Two musician play at the San Isidro cemetery in Mexico City on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A woman stand next to a grave at the San

    A woman stand next to a grave at the San Isidro cemetery in Mexico City on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2. Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or 'Dia de los Muertos', as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A man rides his bicycle at the San Isidr

    A man rides his bicycle at the San Isidro cemetery in Mexico City on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2. Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or 'Dia de los Muertos', as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A group of Mexican musicians known as "M

    A group of Mexican musicians known as 'Mariachis' sing and play their music around a grave at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A child dressed like a clown stands next

    A child dressed like a clown stands next to a grave at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A man walks next to a grave at the San I

    A man walks next to a grave at the San Isidro cemetery in Mexico City on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2. Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or 'Dia de los Muertos', as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A man puts flowers in a grave at the San

    A man puts flowers in a grave at the San Isidro cemetery in Mexico City on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2. Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or 'Dia de los Muertos', as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Two musician play in front of a grave at

    Two musician play in front of a grave at the San Isidro cemetery in Mexico City on November 2, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A Nicaraguan man cleans a grave at the G

    A Nicaraguan man cleans a grave at the General Cemetery during Day of the Dead celebrations in Managua on November 02, 2011. AFP PHOTO / ELMER MARTINEZ (Photo credit should read ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A Nicaraguan woman decorates a grave at

    A Nicaraguan woman decorates a grave at the General Cemetery during Day of the Dead celebrations in Managua on November 02, 2011. AFP PHOTO / ELMER MARTINEZ (Photo credit should read ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives clean the grave site of a departed relative marking Dia de los Muertos or Day of Dead at the local cemetery in Calderon, on the outskirts of northern Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday Nov. 2, 2011. The white tombstone in the center reads in Spanish: "Unforgettable grandparents." (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

  • Marchers carry larger-than-life puppets in the parade celebrating the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) activities in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Revelers can remember and honor their deceased at the 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Christine Lintron

    Christine Lintron poses for a photo in costume celebrating the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) activities in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Revelers can remember and honor their deceased at the 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Richard, Dara Lopez

    Richard and Dara Lopez pose for photos in costumes celebrating the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) activities in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Revelers can remember and honor their deceased at the 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Zoe Gomes

    Zoe Gomes poses for photos in costume celebrating the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) activities in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Revelers can remember and honor their deceased at the 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Marchers carry larger-than-life puppets in the parade celebrating the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) activities in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Revelers can remember and honor their deceased at the 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Katiana Rodriguez

    Katiana Rodriguez poses for photos in costume celebrating the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) activities in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Revelers can remember and honor their deceased at the 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • A priest makes a blessing over a grave i

    A priest makes a blessing over a grave in the Nueva Esperanza cementery, in the outskirts of Villa Maria del Triunfo, southern Lima on November 01, 2011, during All Saints Day celebrations. AFP PHOTO/ERNESTO BENAVIDES (Photo credit should read ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A woman stands beside a relative's grave

    A woman stands beside a relative's grave at the San Jose cemetery in Mexico City's Santiago neighbourhood on November 1, 2011 as Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Ceremonies -- which traditionally include all-night vigils in cemeteries and colourful altars with food and drink -- are taking place across the country. In 2003, UNESCO named the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A girl walks by a graffiti in Guatemala

    A girl walks by a graffiti in Guatemala City during the celebration of All Saints Day, on November 1, 2011. AFP PHOTO/Johan ORDONEZ (Photo credit should read JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • View of small skeleton figures on displa

    View of small skeleton figures on display at the Jamaica flowers market in Mexico City, on October 31, 2011, as Mexicans prepare to celebrate the traditional Day of the Dead. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Cráneos de cartón al lado de tumbas falsas que forman parte de una ofrenda por el Día de los Muertos, el sábado 29 de octubre de 2011, en el campus de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, en el sur de la ciudad de México. (Foto AP/Marco Ugarte)

  • Un hombre frente a una obra artística con figuras de calaveras que forma parte de las festividades por el Día de los Muertos, en el Zocalo de la ciudad de México, en esta fotografía de archivo del 1 de noviembre de 2006. (Foto AP/Gregory Bull, Archivo)

  • Una niña posa para una fotografía frente a calaveras de chocolate y dulce que forman parte de una ofrenda por el Día de los Muertos, el sábado 29 de octubre de 2011, en el campus de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, en el sur de la ciudad de México. (Foto AP/Marco Ugarte)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2006 file photo, a man stands in front of an art piece of painted skulls in Mexico City's Zocalo plaza during Day of the Dead festivities. Day of the Dead, a colorfully macabre celebration harkening back to the Aztecs is observed on the Catholic All Saints' Day. "El Dia de Los Muertos" is when families take picnics to the cemeteries to decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

  • Una muchacha posa junto a una calavera de La Catrina que representa a una jugadora de tenis durante los festejos del Día de los Muertos en los Juegos Panamericanos de Guadalajara el 17 de octubre del 2011. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

  • Kiko Torres, Marlysa Sanchez

    Kiko Torres y su novia Marlysa Sánchez muestran algunos de los objetos alusivos al Día de los Muertos que venden a lo largo de todo el año en el negocio Mark y Más de Albuquerque. Foto del 3 de octubre del 2011. (AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf)

  • A man walks past masks of skulls and cem

    A man walks past masks of skulls and cempasuchil (also called flower of the dead) flowers in Mexico City on November 2, 2010, during the Day of the Dead. Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead on November 1 and 2 in connection with the Catholic celebration of All Saints and All Souls Days. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

As the trick-or-treating winds down, another holiday will begin. People around the country will light candles, craft images of death and visit the cemetery to take offerings to their loved ones on Nov. 1 -- the Day of the Dead.

The fusion of indigenous and Spanish celebrations known as El Día de los Muertos has long been viewed as an embodiment of Mexican folk culture. But it isn’t just a Mexican holiday anymore. Celebrated from Los Angeles to Chicago, from Tucson to Ft. Lauderdale, the holiday is becoming an increasingly common ritual in the United States.

In the words of Adolfo Flores of The Los Angeles Times:

Once observed quietly in Latino communities, U.S. festivities are becoming more mainstream and, typically, louder and more visible than in years past. Corporations are getting more involved as sponsors and participants. Theme parks are adding Latino touches to their Halloween attractions. Party stores have amped up their offerings. And bakeries are already cooking up special treats.

In the United States, the holiday isn’t so much Latino as it is Mexican-American. Once celebrated for nearly a month during the tail end of the summer by the Aztecs, Mayans and other indigenous groups in Mexico and the northern chunk of Central America, the Spaniards tried to eradicate the celebration during the conquest (along with all other aspects of indigenous religion).

They failed. Instead, the practice persisted, eventually taking cover under the Spanish holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2, respectively. Today, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans of Spanish, indigenous and mestizo descent alike celebrate the Day of the Dead.

Cities throughout the American southwest, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, have long celebrated the holiday. But the expansion of the Mexican-American community in the Midwest, northeast and other parts of the country is making the holiday an ever-more common feature of the American culture. The Catholic Church allows its parishioners to set up Day of the Dead offerings at its churches in New York City, according to a story published by the University of Texas at Austin. UNESCO named the 3,000-year-old celebration an intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2003.

For many, the colorful decorations and the playful depictions of skulls make it easier to confront the painful reality of death. According to Mario Hernandez of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago:

There’s this genuine curiosity about the way that death is portrayed [in Mexico]. When you’re brought up in the U.S., death is scary and bad, here you see a culture that views it in the opposite way.

Check out the images above from celebrations of El Día de los Muertos in Mexico, the United States and beyond. Do you plan on celebrating the Day of the Dead? Let us know how and where in the comments.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • Dia de los Muertos

    Dia De Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) honors the dead. On November 1st, people come together to give offerings and pray for deceased family members. The origins of this holiday can be traced to indigenous cultures in Mexico. Today, however, it is celebrated worldwide. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tejedoro_de_luz/" target="_hplink">Flickr photo by Glen</a>

  • Skulls

    Skulls are one the most popular props during Day of The Dead celebrations. Some are made out of wood and others are sugar-coated skulls with the name of the deceased attached them.

  • Famous Skeleton

    Comical depictions of death are very popular during this holiday. Above is a figure of a skeleton representing Mexican Revolution hero Emiliano Zapata.

  • Altar Celebrates Death

    Families build altars in honor of their loved ones who have passed away. Altars can be quite simple, with just a few shelves and boxes covered by colorful cloths. Others, like the one above, can be much more elaborate, with Day of The Dead dolls, candles and luscious fabrics. Altars become places for offerings.

  • Offerings

    The offerings placed on the altar usually include items the spirit can use in the afterlife as well as pictures of the deceased and other personal belongings. Many people like to leave earthly indulgences such as cigarettes or a bottle of tequila.

  • Food For The Dead

    An elaborate bread offering.

  • No Smoking, please.

    One person takes advantage of "Day of the Dead" to advocate against future deaths caused by smoking.

  • House of Death

    "Day of The Dead" transforms a Mexico cemetery into a sea of lights.

  • Ciudad Juarez Cemetery

    People visit their deceased loved ones on "Day of the Dead" at a cemetery in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Ciudad Juarez has become one of the world's deadliest cities, the epicenter of Mexico's drug war.

  • Love in the Time of Death

    A couple, their faces painted in white, kiss during Day of the Dead celebrations.

  • Love Continues...

    A bridge and groom, in over-sized skull masks, take a moment to pose.

  • A Dead Bride

    Day of The Dead inspires creativity. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/psyberartist/" target="_hplink">Flickr photo by psyberatist </a>

  • Keeping Up With Tradition

    Day of The Dead is celebrated by people of all ages. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrissy575/" target="_hplink">Flick photo by Christine Zenino </a>