California Celebrates ‘Dia de Los Muertos’ Nov. 1-2

Dia de los muertos (Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty)
Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty

On Sunday, Dia de los Muertos, “Day of the Dead,” a three-day-long Mexican celebration, is being observed in Los Angeles and around the Golden State.

The festival honors the dead with stories, song, dance, food, drink and placing offerings of pan de muerto (a sweet roll), marigolds and mezcal on altars, LA Weekly reports.

The indigenous people of Mexico celebrate the day because they believe that at midnight on October 31 the gates of heaven open, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) can reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the sprits of deceased adults join them, according to

Typically, toys and candies are left for the angelitos, and on Nov. 2, cigarettes and shots of mezcal are left for the adults. In Mexico, on the afternoon of Nov. 2, people visit the cemetery to clean the tombs while a village band plays and the crowd recalls their loved ones.

As NBC9 reported, the tradition of making sugar skulls for the holiday includes obtaining a skull mold, sugar and meringue power, mixing the sugar and meringue with water, pouring the mixture into the skull mold and waiting for them to dry.