By Smithsonian Voices Smithsonian Latino Center – SmithsonianMag.com – Photo: Dr. Xóchitl Chávez.
Photo: Noche de altares in Santa Ana, California. Smithsonian Latino Center Mobile Broadcasts, 2015.
With the arrival of Spaniards and Catholicism, this ancient tradition of the Day of the Dead blended with All Souls Day/Todos Santos. What we know today as Día de Muertos in Mexico and Guatemala is the result of a combination of both indigenous and Catholic traditions.