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November 2, 2009

Days of the Dead

From October 31st through November 2nd, a number of festivals, holidays and solemnities take place, all loosely related and revolving around remembrance of the dead. Halloween, Samhain, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, the Day of the Dead and other festivals trace their origins back to Celtic, Aztec, Roman and Christian traditions. Halloween is largely a secular observation these days, All Souls and All Saints remain mainly Catholic observations, and the Day of the Dead is still largely a Latin American tradition, its roots in Mexico's Aztec heritage. Collected here are photographs over the past week from the varied observations of the Days of the Dead around the world. (37 photos total)

A skull covered in marigolds rests in front of a wall of graves during preparations for a massive altar in the San Fernando Cemetery in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009. Workers added thousands of marigolds, known in Mexico as "cempasuchil," to giant skull images Tuesday as they prepare to observe the of Day of the Dead. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Women in fancy dress attend a charity Halloween parade in Hong Kong on October 31, 2009. (ED Jones/AFP/Getty Images) #

Four-year-old Dakota Magnuson, of Boise, Idaho, clutches her pumpkin while walking around the Wissel family pumpkin patch, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, outside Nampa, Idaho. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield) #

A marigold hangs on crosses covering part of the U.S.-Mexico border wall as part of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Tijuana, in Mexico, Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. Volunteers from the Pro-migrant Defense Coalition hung 5,100 wooden crosses in honor of 5,100 migrants who have died crossing to the US since 1995, according to their statistics. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias) #

Miranda Galan (center) was one of 80 third grade children from the North School that made a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on a field trip from New Hampshire on October 30th, 2009. In the spirit of Halloween students got a surprise gift from MFA director Malcolm Rogers and Bob Gallery, Masachusetts President of Bank of America when they handed out Egyptian masks and toured the "Secrets of Tomb 10A" exhibit. (David L Ryan / Globe Staff) #

The White House is illuminated with orange light for Halloween as people gather at the North Portico of the White House in Washington on October 31, 2009. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

Performers greet local school children as they arrive for a Halloween reception by U.S. President Barack Obama and his family at the White House in Washington, October 31, 2009. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst) #

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet trick or treaters at the North Portico of the White House as they celebrate Halloween in Washington, DC, on October 31, 2009. The First couple welcomed more than 2,000 children from Washington, Maryland and Virginia schools and their families to celebrate Halloween. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

A performer waves in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on October 31, 2009. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man walks past graves of those killed during the unsuccessful Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis, on August 1, 1944, which lasted 63 days, at the Powazki military cemetery in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. All Saints Day is a national holiday in Poland during which Poles visit graves of their loved ones to light candles and lay flowers. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) #

"Powder" participates in the annual Halloween dog parade, wearing a homemade python costume in the Belle Meade neighborhood of Miami, Florida on October 18, 2009. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria) #

A giant puppet is held up by handlers shortly before the start of the Village Halloween Parade Saturday Oct. 31, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg) #

A ghost puppet, being handled by Moira Sauer, unseen, waits at the start of the the Village Halloween Parade Saturday Oct. 31, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg) #

Queens Ana Maria Sosof Pacach, 19, right, and Glenda Araceli Kua Ajsac, 15, pose for a picture prior to the ceremony in which the new Todos Santos' Queen will be elected in Todos Santos, northwestern Guatemala, Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, part of the local observation of the feast of All Saints, for which the town is named. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

A woman spits alcohol at a horse as they prepare for a traditional horse race on All Saints Day in Todos Santos, Guatemala November 1, 2009. (REUTERS/Daniel LeClair) #

A rider takes part in a traditional horse race on All Saints Day in Todos Santos November 1, 2009. After an alcohol-soaked celebration lasting three days, villagers race horses to commemorate the Catholic feast of All Saints, for which the town is named. (REUTERS/Daniel LeClair) #

A horse rider rests after racing during All Saints Day celebrations in Todos Santos, Guatemala, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

Children wear costumes to celebrate the Day of the Dead as they visit an altar assembled by artists for the dead at the National Autonoma University of Mexico in Mexico City October 30, 2009. The university dedicated altars assembled by artists to the late U.S. writer Edgar Allan Poe, to commemorate the bicentenary of his birth. (REUTERS/Eliana Aponte) #

A woman visits the grave of her son in Mazatlan Villa de Flores cemetery, during the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico on November 1, 2009. (REUTERS/Jorge Plata) #

People take part in a Voodoo ritual during Day of the Dead celebrations at the national cemetery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) #

A man performs a Voodoo ritual during Day of the Dead celebrations at the national cemetery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) #

Giant kites made by residents of Sumpango, in the municipality of Sacatepequez, some 48 km west of Guatemala City, Guatemala, for celebrating All Saints day on November 1, 2009. (JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

Skulls and bones (and a jack-o-lantern) are displayed in the Capuccini cemetary in Palermo, Italy on October 29, 2009. (MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO/AFP/Getty Images) #

18 month old Benjamin Hong, of Brighton, Massachusetts stops to check out his pumpkin while trick or treating along Washington Street in Brighton on October 30th, 2009. (Barry Chin / Globe Staff) #

People dressed as zombies attend a march to celebrate Halloween, on October 31, 2009, in Paris, France. (FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of Nueva Esperanza cemetery during "Day of the Dead" celebrations on the outskirts of Lima, Peru on November 1, 2009. Every year thousands of people visit cemeteries in Peru to honour their dead. (REUTERS/Mariana Bazo) #

A silhouette of a local resident is seen in front of thousands of candles at the Zagreb's main Mirogoj cemetery, in Croatia on November 1, 2009. Thousands of citizens visited Mirogoj to mark the All Saints day. (HRVOJE POLAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

People parade in commemoration of the Day of the Dead in Tonacatepeque, on the outskirts of San Salvador, El Salvador on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Edgar Romero) #

Candles light up graves in the San Gregorio cemetery during Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City, Mexico early Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. According to tradition, candles are lit to guide wandering souls back to their families. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) #

Flowers decorate the entrance of a house during Day of the Dead celebrations in San Miguel Canoa, central Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

The moon rises behind a mountain in Bogota on All Saints' Day on November 1. (RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Carlos Estrada of Santa Rosa, entertains motorists under the Highway 12 overcrossing at Olive Street as he brings up the rear of an immigrant march that started on Sebastopol Road and ended at Santa Rosa's city hall, Saturday Oct. 31, 2009 in Santa Rosa, Calif. (AP Photo/Press Democrat, Kent Porter) #

Children light candles as they offer prayers for departed loved ones to mark All Souls' Day at the cemetery of Holy Rosary church in Dhaka, Banngladesh on November 2, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj) #

A Filipino family uses a makeshift raft to paddle their way through a flooded cemetery in suburban Angono district east of Manila on November 1, 2009. Millions of Filipinos across the country trooped to cemeteries to honour their dead on All Saint's Day, a day after typhoon Mirinae slammed into the country and killing at least 14. Mirinae's rains and strong winds also compounded the emergency situation for tens of thousands already left homeless by two previous storms that had killed over 1,100 the past five weeks. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Girls in ladybug and bee outfits take part in "Harajuku Omotesando Hello Halloween Pumpkin Parade 2009" in Tokyo October 25, 2009. Some 1,000 children in Halloween outfits took part in the parade on Sunday. (REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao) #

A decorated altar is unveiled for the British Museum's Day of the Dead celebration on October 29, 2009 in London, England. The altar was created by Mexican artist Adriana Amaya. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #

A Ring-tailed lemur at Bristol Zoo Gardens investigates a carved pumpkin that had been left as a special Halloween treat in its enclosure on October 28, 2009 in Bristol, England. The gift of the pumpkin does have a serious side, as they are a great addition to the animals' regular diet as they are high in vitamins, potassium, protein and fiber - as well as being the perfect enrichment toy, since the animals have to delve inside to reach the succulent flesh and plump seeds. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #

 
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