As you might have been able to tell by now, fall is my favorite time of year. The weather finally starts to cool down, football is in full swing, and the holiday season kicks off with Halloween. For many of us in America, Halloween is largely celebrated by dressing in costume, attending a festive party, or maybe ambling about a trunk-or-treat. However, other parts of the world celebrate this season a little differently.

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El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a holiday of Mexican heritage, where the souls of departed loved ones are honored and remembered (ever seen the movie "Coco"?). I have always respected and been intrigued by this holiday so I decided to learn a bit more about how Dia de los Muertos is celebrated.

Traditional mexican Day of the dead altar with sugar skulls and candles
Photo: agcuesta/Getty Images
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Typically celebrated on November 1 and 2 with a blend of food, ceremony, decorative skulls, and marigold flowers, Dia de los Muertos can be one intense holiday. Families often construct altars at home or in cemeteries to honor their departed loved ones, including photos, favorite foods and personal trinkets. As the tradition goes, the gates of heaven are said to open up at midnight on October 31, allowing spirits to rejoin their families for a 24-hour period.

Photo: Jorge Salgado/Getty Images
Photo: Jorge Salgado/Getty Images
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Come to find out this holiday is more than just sugar skulls and parties. It's also about love, honor, and respect. I think that's what I like about it most. But let's be real - three days of food and celebration doesn't sound bad either.

To experience a Dia de los Muertos Family Festival right here in the Big Country, visit The Grace Museum and participating partners in downtown Abilene tonight, October 27, from 5-8 p.m. for a free community event. For a more solemn remembrance, North's Funeral Home is holding a Dia de los Muertos prayer service on Tuesday, November 1, from 6:30-9 p.m.

If you've never observed or participated in a colorful Dia de los Muertos celebration, put it on your list. Scroll on to see snapshots of a Dia de los Muertos parade from right here in Texas.

San Antonio Day of the Dead River Parade

Day of the Dead is a Hispanic tradition celebrated every year from October 31 to November 2. You can attend this unique and beautiful parade on San Antonio's River Walk.

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