Day of the Dead, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' day celebrations

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Mexico City celebrates the Day of the Dead with spectacular altars and monumental offerings mounted in several squares such as Santo Domingo and the Zocalo, both located in the heart of the huge metropolis.

One mega-offering was dedicated to Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death. Eighty-five tetrahedral altars, adorn the area, each dotted with colorful flowers and candles.

The altars were built and decorated by 1,500 artists, who are all part the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) community.

See the breathtaking celebrations:

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Day of the Dead, All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day celebrations around the world
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Day of the Dead, All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day celebrations around the world

Filipino woman with her son lights a candle at the grave of fallen soldiers at the National Heroes cemetery during the All Saints Day in Taguig City, South of Manila, Philippines on November 1, 2016. Millions of Filipinos flocked to cemeteries around the country to visit their departed loved ones to mark All Saints Day.

(Lito Boras/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Participants wearing costumes participate in the "Day of the Dead" parade in Mexico City, Mexico October 29, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlos Jasso)

Representations of boats known as "trajineras" are on display in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo, as part of the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico City, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. The holiday honors the dead as friends and families gather in cemeteries to decorate their loved ones' graves and hold vigil through the night on Nov. 1 and 2. (

AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Candles illuminate graves decorated for Day of the Dead, in the San Gregorio cemetery on the outskirts of Mexico City, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. In a tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2, families decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds 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 paper-made figure representing Death is seen at Mexico City's Zocalo square on October 31, 2016 as Mexicans begin to honour their deceased loved ones in the three-day Day of the Dead festivities.

(ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of crosses are lit with candles to pay tribute to the departed soldiers in observance of All Saints Day at the Heroes Cemetery Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 in suburban Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines. Families bring flowers. Relatives seek out graves of departed soldiers. Tombs across the Philippines get cleaned up. And prayers â prayers with candles, silent prayers, group prayers, prayers for loved ones now gone â echo across the land. On All Saints Day in the Philippines, the cemetery takes center stage â and not at all in the way Halloween does it. This is a time for remembrance and, for many, a time for contemplation.

(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Children attend the exhibition and contest of altars organized by the Historic Centre Foundation in the framework of the Day of the Dead, in Mexico City on November 1, 2016. Mexicans who culturally celebrate and revere death begin to honour their deceased loved ones in the three-day Day of the Dead festivities.

(YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Representations of boats known as "trajineras" are on display in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo, as part of the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico City, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. The holiday honors the dead as friends and families gather in cemeteries to decorate their loved ones' graves and hold vigil through the night on Nov. 1 and 2.

(AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Two women sit next to a campfire keeping vigil beside a child's grave during Day of the Dead festivities at the San Gregorio cemetery in Mexico City, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. In a tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2, families decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds 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)

Children with their faces painted hold the Mexican national flag during a Day of the Dead celebration at a school in Mexico City, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. The holiday honors the dead as friends and families gather in cemeteries to decorate their loved ones' graves and hold vigil through the night on Nov. 1 and 2.

(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

A person dressed in a costume representing death stands in front of an altar decorating Mexico City's Zocalo square on October 31, 2016 as Mexicans begin to honour their deceased loved ones in the three-day Day of the Dead festivities.

(ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

People attend the Day of the Dead Parade in downtown Mexico City, capital of Mexico, on Oct. 29, 2016. Thousands of Mexicans gathered on Saturday in Mexico City to join the parade of the traditional celebration for the Day of the Dead.

(Xinhua/Str via Getty Images)

A woman pays her respect at the Olsany cemetery to mark All Souls Day in Prague, Czech Republic, November 1, 2016.

(REUTERS/David W Cerny)

People light candles during All Saints Day at Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia November 1, 2016.

(REUTERS/Antonio Bronic)

A couple take pictures with fake giant skeletons placed in an altar in front of the Fine Arts Palace, in the framework of the Day of the Dead, in Mexico City on November 1, 2016. Mexicans who culturally celebrate and revere death begin to honour their deceased loved ones in the three-day Day of the Dead festivities.

(YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Masks of "T'antawawas" (children's bread) are displayed in a popular market to commemorate All Saints Day in La Paz, October 30, 2016.

(REUTERS/David Mercado)

White rose is seen among candles during All Saints Day at Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia November 1, 2016.

(REUTERS/Antonio Bronic)

People visit apartment-style tombs of their loved ones ahead of the commemoration of All Saints day at Navotas Public cemetery in Manila, Philippines, October 31, 2016.

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

A girl sells refreshments inside a cramped public cemetery on November 1, 2016 in Manila, Philippines as Filipinos flock to cemeteries around the country to visit departed relatives and loved ones to remember All Saints Day. The 'Day of the Dead' which is also called 'Todos Los Santos' or 'All Saint's Day' is a holiday celebrated in Latin cultures around the world during which family and friends of the deceased gather at the cemeteries to pray and hold vigils for those who have passed away. In the Philippines, family members clean tombs and often spend the night at the cemetery eating and celebrating with loved ones.

(Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)

People pay their respects in front of the grave of Spanish poet Antonio Machado on November 1, 2016 in a cemetery in Collioure, southwestern France, during the All Saints' Day.

(RAYMOND ROIG/AFP/Getty Images)

A visitor points at a tombstone as he visits at the state cemetery, a day before All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday to reflect on the saints and deceased relatives, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.

(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

A woman pays her respect at the Olsany cemetery to mark All Souls Day in Prague, Czech Republic, November 1, 2016.

(REUTERS/David W Cerny)

Scissors dancers perform on a grave at the Nueva Esperanza cemetery in the shantytown Villa Maria, in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, as part of the Day of the Dead festivities. The holiday honors the deceased and coincides with All Saints Day, and All Souls Day celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2. Dancing, drinking alcohol, and eating with the deceased are part of Day of the Dead celebrations.

(AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

People light candles at the Powazki cemetery in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Candles illuminated tombstones in graveyards across Poland as people communed with the souls of the dead on Tuesday, All Saints' Day, observing one of the most sacred days in the calendar for this deeply Catholic nation.

(AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Statue of Father Cicero.Catholic pilgrims gather in the city of Juazeiro do Norte, in the state of Ceará, nodeste Brazil, for holiday Souls Day on 1st November 2016. Religious pay promises and ask for protection to Father Cicero, considered Saint by the people of the region.

(Diego Herculano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A view of tombs in Rakowicki cemetery in Krakow, on the eve of All Saint Day. People of Krakow cleaned their family tombs, and placed flowers and candles on them just before All Saints Day'. The 1st of November in Poland is a day off from work, and many people travel to visit the graves of their loved ones. On Monday, 31st October 2016, Rakowicki cemetery, Krakow, Poland.

(Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A woman and child light candle at the Olsany cemetery on November 1, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic. Many Czech people visit cemeteries during All Saints Day and All Souls Day to pay respect to deceased relatives and to lay flowers, maintain their graves and light candles.

(Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

An organ-grinder plays in front of the main entrance of the exhibition and contest of altars organized by the Historic Centre Foundation in the framework of the Day of the Dead, in Mexico City on November 1, 2016. Mexicans who culturally celebrate and revere death begin to honour their deceased loved ones in the three-day Day of the Dead festivities.

(YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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Gabriela Leslie, who is from Los Angeles but has Mexican roots, said it was a pleasure to visit the country and its traditions.

"I think it's fantastic. My grandmother was from Mexico and she would always take me into the centre of Los Angeles and we would buy little artesanias (handicrafts) for our house and have our own little ceremony with an altar so it's good to come here and actually see it in full form and also connect with the place that I came from," Leslie said.

Fused with the Catholic festivals of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, the Day of the Dead is one of the most deep-rooted traditions in Mexico, celebrated by millions of people from Mayan Indians in the tropical south to urban professionals in Mexico City.

Drawing on beliefs that the dead can return from the underworld, the celebrations begin on November 1 with the Day of the Innocents to honor departed children, and ends with the Day of the Dead on November 2 for adults.

Nearby in Mexico City's Zocalo square, 120 colorful gondola-like boats called "trajineras" which were turned into altars.

The spectacular offering is called "Canto de Agua" (Song to Water) to commemorate how ancient residents moved around a complex canal system around Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire, which the Spanish razed in 1521 to found Mexico City, conquering the Aztecs.

The offering also voices concern about a lack of water in the capital.

Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations are considered a Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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