THE Day of the Dead will be celebrated today as millions dress up and remember their loved ones.
The annual holiday is a tradition in the Mexican culture with many spending the day at cemeteries with their deceased family members.
Mexico's Dia de los Muertos happens on November 2 every year – but how long does it last for and where did it come from?
The Mexican Day of the Dead festival allows and encourages revellers to pray for lost loved ones.
With the idea of helping them with their journey in the afterlife, families often construct their own private altars.
On the Dia de Muertos, those who observe the day honour the dead with a number of different gifts including sugary gifts and marigolds.
Favourite food and drinks of the deceased are also offered and served on the day.
For some parts of Mexico Dia de los Muertos begins on Halloween.
The period of the festival usually starts on October 31 and ends on November 6 with November 2 being the main day of celebration.
And as the decades have gone by celebrations have become even more vibrant.
The Day of the Dead traces its earliest routes to the Aztec people.
Aztecs used skulls to honor the dead a millennium before the Dia de los Muertos festival emerged.
It traditionally took place in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, around August and was celebrated for an entire month.
And the traditions have continued for the last six centuries.
The festival is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a public holiday.
Typically an intimate family tradition, graves are visited and decorated with flowers and sugar skulls.
Musicians are hired to perform the dead's favourite songs at home alters.
But the colourful event has also been adopted by other regions across the world in various forms.
In the Philippines on November 1, it is customary for families to visit the tombs and graves of their lost relatives.
A similar tradition is also carried out in Europe, where Roman Catholic regions celebrate All Souls Day.
Finally, Day of the Dead celebrations occur in some major cities of Australia, Fiji and Indonesia.
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