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Mexican villages try to preserve authentic Day of the Dead

By FERNANDA PESCE

1/10 ● APNews
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Relatives prepare to spend the night next to the tomb of their loved ones

Relatives prepare to spend the night next to the tomb of their loved ones during Day of the Dead festivities at the the Arocutin cemetery in Michoacan state, Mexico, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

In a tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, families decorate the graves of departed relatives with flowers and candles, and spend the night in the cemetery, eating and drinking as they keep company with their deceased loved ones.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Families decorate the graves of departed relatives with flowers and candles

Relatives spend the night next to the tomb of their loved ones during Day of the Dead festivities at the the Arocutin cemetery in Michoacan state, Mexico, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

In a tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, families decorate the graves of departed relatives with flowers and candles, and spend the night in the cemetery, eating and drinking as they keep company with their deceased loved ones.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

A relative builds an altar as he prepares to spend the night

A relative builds an altar as he prepares to spend the night next to the tomb of his loved one during Day of the Dead festivities at the the Arocutin cemetery in Michoacan state, Mexico, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

In a tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, families decorate the graves of departed relatives with flowers and candles, and spend the night in the cemetery, eating and drinking as they keep company with their deceased loved ones.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Eating and drinking as they keep company with their deceased loved ones.

According to tradition, the only force that allows residents to lift the tree trunks that form the arch are the souls of the children who respond to the sound of the bells and come to help.

"We bring them all the things they liked when they were alive"

Arocutín is one of the few communities where a church bell rings to call the souls and guide them back to the land of the living, to prevent them from getting lost. Each community has a different sound. This is also one of the few communities where people stay up all night, offering food and presents to the deceased.

“We coexist with our dead. We bring them all the things they liked when they were alive. Sometimes it is a beer, or a tequila with a cigarette,” said Alma Ascencio.

Mexican marigold flowers known as Cempasuchil

A woman holds a line of Mexican marigold flowers known as Cempasuchil, outside the Arocutin municipal cemetery as people begin to arrive to pay their respects to their dead in Arocutin, Michoacan, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

A woman adorns a religious image with Mexican marigold flowers

A woman adorns a religious image with Mexican marigold flowers known as Cempasuchil, inside the church at the Arocutin municipal cemetery as people begin to arrive to pay their respects to their dead in Arocutin, Michoacan, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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