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La Catrina: It’s Meaning and Why It’s Symbolic of Día de los Muertos

It’s not Halloween but rather the first couple of days in November when the celebration of death is at the cultural forefront in many Spanish-speaking countries — and particularly in Mexico. One of the most common symbols you’ll see around Día de los Muertos is La Catrina, a statement-making skeletal figure (a bit reminiscent of sugar skulls) adorned in a fine dress and hat.

According to urban legend, La Catrina’s roots come from Aztec death goddess Mictecacihuatl. In the legend, the goddess served the same purpose as La Catrina does today: to honor and protect those who have passed and to symbolize the relationship Mexicans have with death.

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Day of the dead - Sugar Skull Light