Tuesday is El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, an ancient holiday in Mexico’s indigenous communities that celebrates death and loved ones who’ve passed on and helps the living reconnect with the deceased.
Rather than mournful events, the holiday celebrates death as a part of the cycle of life, thereby dispelling fear of dying. The holiday also often serves as a source of comfort and community.
The celebration traditionally features gatherings in which families pray and remember relatives and friends who have died and help them with their spiritual journey. Homes and cemeteries are adorned with colorful ofrendas, or altars, decorated with orange Mexican marigolds, sugar skulls and burning candles.
Google joined in celebrating the holiday on Tuesday, observed every Nov. 2, with an animated Doodle showing a family member laying a path of marigold petals for their departed loved ones to follow home. Inside, the altars are surrounded by food such as pan de muertos (bread of dead) and pictures and mementos of deceased loved ones.
El Dia de los Muertos traces its roots to the Aztec empire, but the holiday has spread around the world, being absorbed by a variety of cultures wishing to honor their dead in a joyous rather than sorrowful manner.