The Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead is a mixture of symbols and practices of the pre-Hispanic indigenous and Spanish missionaries. Led by Saint Francisis of Assisi in the 16 century, the observence tradition is celebrated with flashes of syncretism. It is important to note that the Dead altars in Mesoamerican cultures were made under another context concerning death, where a large part of the celebration was combined with human sacrifices made to feed and worship the gods.
Today, the evolutions of these offerings retain some elements of the prehispanic: versions made are within a circle of salt or lime "used for purification materials," divided into four parts that relate with the cardinal points and the four elements. Inside the circle, belongings and personal objects of the deceased and their favorite food and drinks are placed; the marigold flower and fire are considered spiritual guides for the deceased. The colors of the offerings vary with different symbols related to life, strength, transformation, destruction, etc.
Below is a selection of the brightest and best Instagram offerings, sculptures, illustrations, and even pastries, in Mexico through November 2:
A version of this article originally appeared on The Creators Project Mexico.