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Halloween beyond America...

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Posted 10-30-2009 at 02:01 PM by lauriebear777

:witch:Halloween, one of the world's oldest holidays, is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe.
The autumn rite is commemorated in the United Kingdom, although with a surprising and distinctive British twist. In Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, All Souls' Day, the third day of the three-day Hallowmas observance, is the most important part of the celebration for many people. In Ireland and Canada, Halloween, which was once a frightening and superstitious time of year, is celebrated much as it is here in the United States, with trick-or-treating, costume parties, and fun for all ages.

[B]El Dia De Los Muertos[/B]

[IMG]http://www.history.com/minisites/halloween/images/day-of-the-dead.jpg[/IMG] Flowers and candles decorate graves for Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos).
[RIGHT][I]Photo Credit: Corbis[/I][/RIGHT]

In Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, All Souls' Day, which takes place on November 2, is commemorated with a three-day celebration that begins on the evening of October 31. The celebration is designed to honor the dead who, it is believed, return to their earthly homes on Halloween. Many families construct an altar to the dead in their homes to honor deceased relatives and decorate it with candy, flowers, photographs, samples of the deceased's favorite foods and drinks, and fresh water. Often, a wash basin and towel are left out so that the spirit can wash before indulging in the feast.
Candles and incense are burned to help the deceased find the way home. Relatives also tidy the gravesites of their departed family members. This can include snipping weeds, making repairs, and painting. The grave is then decorated with flowers, wreaths, or paper streamers. On November 2, relatives gather at the gravesite to picnic and reminisce. Some gatherings even include tequila and a mariachi band! Celebrations honoring departed loved ones and family members are found as far back as ancient Egyptian times.
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