Why Do People Wear Masks on the Day of the Dead?

Masks, called “calacas,” are worn on the Day of the Dead to symbolize the nature of the dead and how they feel. While these masks may look scary at first glance, most depict the dead as smiling or happy.

Catholics who hold this tradition believe that the dead are in a joyous place and would therefore like to be remembered as being happy. The skull is the main symbol used on the day. Some of the activities that take place include bringing gifts and food to the dead at burial grounds. The festivities are aimed at teaching people not to be afraid of death because there is hope for a happy afterlife.