Day of the Dead celebrations opened with a sadder tone than usual Wednesday as Mexico City and nearby states marked the holiday by remembering the 369 people killed in the Sept. 19 earthquake.

Mexico's traditional view of the dead is not ghoulish or frightful — rather they are seen as the "dear departed," people who remain close even after death. On the Nov. 1-2 holiday, Mexicans set up altars with photographs of the dead and plates of their favorite foods in their homes. They gather at their loved ones' gravesides to drink, sing and talk to the dead.

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