December 22, 2018

(CNN)— Google marked Day of the Dead with skull doodle. The day is celebrated as an ancient festival and honoring departed loved ones, with a doodle featuring brightly painted model skulls. It is an ancient tradition of Mexico. The skulls are handmade. Those are placed between animated flickering candles with orange marigold petals scattered around them. The offenders or altars are represented by the doodle. For participating the carnival, they are set up by families. Photographs and treasured mementos of late relatives and friends, plus their favorite foods and drinks are typically featured by the shrines.

The holiday is celebrated for the death as a part of the cycle of life, thereby dispelling fear of dying rather than mournful events. The holiday is also celebrated as a source of comfort and community. The two day festival stems from the continuation of ancient Aztec rituals that is meant to honor those who had died. During the festival, people are encouraged to gather and they pray for help those who departed on their spiritual paths.

While the subject is understandably set up for many, people celebrating this festival tend to leverage symbols of death alongside a point of death that there is humor in death. People who celebrate this festival tend to believe that death is something that should be celebrated in a lively way, and not something to be afraid of. The Mexican carnival dates back thousands of years and coincides with the annual harvest of maize, traditionally the country’s main crop. It combines Aztec and Christian practices, and is seen as a vibrant expression of Mexico’s indigenous identity.

It is celebrated throughout Central America and increasingly in the US where merchandise featuring skulls and skeletons have become widely available. Retailer Party City sells Day of the Dead costumes and decorations, and the target is a collection of Día de los Muertos merchandise.

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