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Des Moines Public Library celebrates pagan Day of the Dead

DES MOINES REGISTER – Day of the Dead, or El Día de los Muertos, is a traditional Latin American holiday celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed away. Originating in Mexico, the holiday has since spread across much of Latin America and among those of Mexican heritage in the United States.

The holiday, generally celebrated from the evening of Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, is a joyous one, with many distinctive traditions and symbols. These include altars containing ofrendas, a collection of offerings that contain the deceased’s favorite food, flowers and more. Traditional foods include sugar skulls (calaveras) and sweet bread (pan de muerto). Each family’s altar is filled with vibrant colors and decorations, often matching family members’ colorful costumes; some even wear skull masks, in commemoration of the day.

Marlú Abarca of the East Side Library explained that growing up, her family would travel to Mexico for the holiday. It helped her connect with relatives she never knew. READ MORE

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