While the form of this bread is different from region to region, it is often decorated with strips of dough resembling bones, or made to resemble a dead body.
Also common are skulls and skeletons made of sugar or candy.
The conquered Native Americans took the opportunity to incorporate their own traditions for honoring the dead into these two days.
The resulting holiday is a unique hybrid of the two.
Skeletons are everywhere, from tissue-paper scenes to tiny plastic toys, from cardboard puppets to ceramic sculptures, from posters to papier mache.
These skeletons are usually cheerful, and they are designed to show the full range of activities and professions people perform. if somebody does it while alive, you can find an artistic rendering of a skeleton doing it while dead. The Day of the Dead feast typically includes a special egg-batter "bread of the dead," pan de muerto.It is generally believed that the souls of one's family return home to join in the Day of the Dead festivities.First those who died in infancy come home, then the older children, and finally those who died once they'd reached adulthood. Meredith collects data to deliver the best content, services, and personalized digital ads.We partner with third party advertisers, who may use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on sites and applications across devices, both on our sites and across the Internet.All Souls Day, honoring all the Christian departed, follows on Nov. Taken together, the three events are sometimes referred to as Allhallowtide and all of them are part of the Day of the Dead celebrations.More: Day of the Dead history: Ritual dates back 3,000 years and is still evolving Halloween's connection to the afterlife has largely been stripped from the holiday.The names of two consecutive twenty-day months on the Aztec calendar, Miccailhuitomi and Miccailhuitl, can be translated as "Feast of the Little Dead Ones" and "Feast of the Adult Dead." Put together, they appear to have formed one long celebration of the dead, moving from those who died as children to those who died when they were older.In the early 1500s, Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernando Cortéz, conquered the Aztec Empire, taking over the area we now know as Mexico.While the holiday's observances include spending time in cemeteries, making shrines to the dead, and displaying artistic representations of skulls and skeletons, the occasion is festive, rather than morbid.Death isn't seen as the end of one's life, but as a natural part of the life cycle; the dead continue to exist much as they did in their lives, and come back to visit the living every year.