Elaborately decorated skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality. Karen Castillo Farfán /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Karen Castillo Farfán /NPR

Skeletons: Skeleton imagery pervades this holiday. In pre-Columbian times, the Day of the Dead was celebrated in August. It now takes place on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Karen Castillo Farfán/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Karen Castillo Farfán/NPR