12. The Mayans celebrate their own version
Don’t go to the Yucatán Peninsula expecting the usual skulls and skeletons and wild processions. The Maya here do celebrate the holiday, locally called Hanal Pixan, but with a different aesthetic. Ofrendas are usually built out of lush palm and banana leaves, while the celebrations at cemeteries are more subdued.
13. Day of the Dead is celebrated in other parts of Latin America too
It makes sense, considering it’s a pre-Columbian holiday. Guatemalans make an elaborate cold salad called fiambre, composed of dozens of mixed-up ingredients, like boiled eggs, cabbage, beets, sardines, even hot dogs. It’s said to have evolved from all the little dishes people brought to the graveyards then combined into leftovers. In Ecuador, it’s called Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased), and people eat little baby-shaped breads called guaguas and dunk them in a hot, blood-red blackberry juice called colada morada. Brazilians celebrate it as Finados and, in recent years, both Rio and Sao Paulo have been taken over by decidedly non-traditional “zombie invasions”, parades of gory, costumed ghouls organized flash-mob-style.