Pre-Hispanic Times

Day of the Dead is rooted in the beliefs held by native people of Mexico in pre-Hispanic times. The exact combination of beliefs that contributed to the origin of “Day of the Dead” are not entirely known and often debated. However, there were practices dating back to 500 and 1500 B.C.E. that seem to relate to present observances of “Day of the Dead”. The offerings of food, utensils, and clay figurines are examples of some traditions related to ancient practices. These offerings were thought to aid the dead on their long journey to Mictlan, the place of rest for the traveling souls.

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