What is the Day of the Dead and how are people celebrating?

Lives of lost loved ones are being remembered across Mexico and South America.

Day of the Dead – or Día de los Muertos – is being celebrated by people in Mexico and South American countries.

Millions paint their faces to look like skulls as they take part in parades on November 1 and 2 to mark the cycle of life and death.

It’s a time to remember and celebrate the lives of friends and family who have died and moved on to the afterlife.

The event dates back thousands of years to indigenous people who believed it was disrespectful to mourn the dead – instead they accepted death was part of life and chose to celebrate.

People build altars – decorated with flowers – in their homes to welcome back spirits to the land of the living and visit the graves of loved ones.

They also invite others into their homes for a drink while sharing stories about those they have lost.

While the full traditional celebrations are widespread across Mexico and South America, other parts of the world also celebrate Day of the Dead, such as New York, where an annual parade is held.

Colours on the face masks and paint represent different things: yellow is for the sun and unity, purple is for mourning and pink means happiness.

White is for spirit and purity, while red symbolises the blood of life.

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