Other Annual Family Events

 
  A taka taka band serenades a departed loved one on Día de los Muertos.  
 

In addition to the core traditional family events of baptism, birthdays, quinceaneras and weddings, there are other important annual fiestas as well.

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Apart from the family fiestas mentioned, there are also annual events that are celebrated in a family environment, to include:

Anniversaries

Holidays like Day of the Dead, which is actually three days of remembrance for the departed. October 31st is the Eve (Vispera) of the Dia de los Angelitos, when children who have passed on are remembered.

November 1st is All Saints Day, or el Día de los Angelitos, and November 2nd is the Day of the Dead, or el Día de los Muertos.

During all three days (but especially on November 2nd), families go to the cemetery to remember their loved ones by cleaning their gravesite and placing flowers (especially the large "coronas," circular floral wreaths). Families also make a small altar in their homes and decorate it by placing items that the person enjoyed in life (food, beverages) on the altar, with the belief that the departed person will return on the Day of the Dead to remember and enjoy the things that he or she enjoyed while alive. The holiday also includes the making and consumption of special food and sweets, such as bread of the dead (pan de muerto) and sugar skulls.

Christmas traditions are much the same as in the U.S. and other places, although there are some unique differences, such as the Misa de Gallo, held at midnight on Christmas Eve, where the faithful line up to kiss a doll of the baby Jesus.

The official end of the Christmas season is January 6th, Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes Magos), when Mexican children will receive their last Christmas gifts. Also on that day, bakeries prepare the traditional colorful bread Dia de la Candelaria, with its own special significance. In each loaf of bread is a small white figurine, and the person who receives the piece of bread with the figurine has to provide the tamales at the next holiday on February 2nd, El Dia de la Candelaria.

And of course, family reunions are as popular in Mexico as in other countries.