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After the Spanish conquest of Mexico, celebrations were moved to early November, and blended indigenous customs with observance of Christian holy days.

Today, people of Mexican descent celebrate the Day of the Dead with picnics, elaborate altars, parades, and visits to cemeteries.

Altars include colored tissue ribbons, flowers, photos of the dead, and candles.

Children around the world all share a common interest with young warm blooded animal cubs: an innate urge to play.The use of play is a natural method for learning how to coordinate movements and for practicing actions and routines.Later, in the adult phase, these skills will be essential for the development of the animal… Traces of toys have been found dating back to the beginning of time and from all cultures in every part of the planet.Sonja Rosales is a Mexican-American living in South Carolina.She says that for her family and many others, this is not a day of mourning, but a day of happiness. I know that our ancestors are there, and they are happy that we remember them."If you'd like to celebrate the Day of the Dead in your own family, you can either incorporate it into your Samhain festivities, or hold it as a separate event, while being sensitive to the issue of cultural appropriation.

"It's a chance for us to remember the dead with love.

We start by honoring the , the children who are deceased, and then we remember the older people.

While it may sound a bit macabre, it's actually a joyful celebration, honoring the memories of those who have died in the past year.

Today's Day of the Dead festivals are a blend of old Aztec tradition merged with modern Catholic beliefs.

Author Sheena Morgan says in that the original, pre-Christian celebration took place in late August, and coincided with the migration of Monarch butterflies.

The Aztecs believed that the Monarchs were the souls of the dead, returning to their homes.