I completely forgot that it was the Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos some 10 days ago. This a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and the Mexican community living in north America, but it's also observed in other Latin American countries.
The Mexican celebration occurs on November 1 (All Saints' Day) and November 2 (All Souls' Day). Celebrating the dead may be considered morbid to other cultures, but celebrants consider the Day of the Dead as a joyful and happy occasion. The tradition is to celebrate and honor the lives of the deceased. It also celebrate the continuation of life, believing that death is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life.
In atonement for my oversight, here's a New York Times slide show on the Day of the Dead. The photographs are by Janet Jarman...I found the accompanying explanatory text to each image to be very useful, which is why I deem this particular slide show not exactly a 'fluff' piece for tourists.
By the way, this weekend is also Diwali for Hindus. When I stumble on a Diwali-themed photo essay, I'll post it.
The New York Times' Day of the Dead