The Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos or Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico and elsewhere associated with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and is held on November 1 and 2. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died. It is commonly portrayed as a day of celebration rather than mourning. Mexican academics are divided on whether the festivity has indigenous pre-Hispanic roots or whether it is a 20th-century rebranded version of a Spanish tradition developed by the presidency of Lazaro Cardenas to encourage Mexican nationalism through an "Aztec" identity. The festivity has become a national symbol and as such is taught in the nation's school system, typically asserting a native origin.
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