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Day of the Dead: What Is the Meaning & History of 'Dia de los Muertos'?

Today Google celebrates the end of the Day of the Dead 2017, also known as Dia de los Muertos. The Mexican holiday began on Halloween. Despite its name, the Day of the Dead is actually 3 days long regardless of where it begins and ends, it is not "Mexican Halloween." The holiday existed prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century but took place during August instead of autumn. Gradually the native celebration was absorbed into the Catholic calendar holidays of All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day, all which also fall around Halloween.

Halloween itself has Gaelic origins and is now considered the "Celtic New Year." The original Halloween was called Samhain. Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, according to the calendar of the Celtic League.

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