What is Dia de los Muertos and when is it celebrated?

Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 10:29 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

It’s not quite Halloween, despite its outward appearance. And, while the dead are involved in Dia de los Muertos, it’s in anything but a macabre way.

Don’t be fooled by the faces painted to look like skulls, or the altars full of food drink for the spirits.

This celebration of the dead comes with a dose of family, not spooks.

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Dia de los Muertos is a tradition in Mexico that is being celebrated more often in the United States. The celebration, which begins late on Oct. 31, brings families together to celebrate their departed loved ones with feasts, altars, decorations and visits to the cemetery.

Here’s a look at the two-day celebration.

What is Dia de los Muertos?

Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of deceased loved ones. It is believed that the gates of heaven are opened every year late on Oct. 31, and the spirits of deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours.

Nov. 2 is when the spirits of deceased adults join their families.

How did it start?

The celebration is centuries old. It was begun in Mexico and is widely celebrated there still. Dia de los Muertos is a blend of Aztec celebrations honoring the dead and Spanish Catholic beliefs.  

How is it celebrated?

The observance of Dia de los Muertos is elaborate. Altars are constructed and decorated with candles, flowers, food and drink. Toys are left for deceased children, and cigarettes and mescal, an alcoholic beverage similar to tequila, are left for deceased adults.

To finish the altar, or ofrendas, skulls made of sugar and decorated with frosting are put into place. The sugar skulls are often purchased at open-air markets.

The altars and accompanying feasts can be expensive, but celebrants sacrifice and save to put on the annual celebrations to honor their departed loved ones.  

The celebrations begin in the home, but by the afternoon of Nov.2, the festivities move to the cemetery, where family members clean graves, listen to music and talk about the dead.

In some places, there are street parties or citywide festivals.

What are sugar skulls?

Sugar skulls are made from molds and decorated with frosting. They are placed on the altars in the homes of those celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Sometimes the skulls are eaten, but more often they are used as decorations for altars.

Sugar art is believed to have been brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century.  

Where is it celebrated?

The Day of the Dead is celebrated in many Latin American countries in addition to Mexico.

When is it?    

Dia de los Muertos begins on Nov. 1 and ends on Nov. 2.

Wells Fargo customers find accounts drained by mistaken double charges

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 11:49 PM

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Some Wells Fargo customers found their bank accounts drained to zero Wednesday when some sort of glitch caused their online bill payments to be processed twice.

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Numerous customers -- so many that Wells Fargo’s customer service phone lines were jammed Wednesday night -- were discovering that recent payments they had made using the bank’s online Bill Pay system had been deducted twice from their checking accounts.

In some cases, that sent customers’ balances to zero -- or below zero -- and triggered the possibility of overdraft protection fees. Some customers received email notices telling them that they now had no money in their checking accounts.

Customers who sat through the hour-plus wait to reach a customer service representative Wednesday night were being told that their accounts would be fixed overnight.

“We’re aware that certain Wells Fargo customers are experiencing issues with Bill Pay,” Wells Fargo communications manager Hilary O’Byrne said in a statement. “We apologize for this inconvenience, and are working to resolve the issue quickly.”

O’Byrne declined to say how many customers were affected or to describe how the double charges occurred.

In the meantime, customers took to social media to share their shock and frustration over not being able to access the money that should have been in their checking accounts.

Suspect sought after stealing SUV, abandoning children on freezing roads

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 11:21 PM

(WSBTV.com)
(WSBTV.com)

Authorities in Clayton County, Georgia, are searching for the person they say stole an SUV with two children inside from a gas station Wednesday before abandoning them in below-freezing temperatures on major roadways.

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One-month-old Ava Wilmer and 4-year-old Arya Davenport were found miles apart after mother Precious Wilmer’s 2009 Chevy Equinox was stolen about 5 p.m. from a QuikTrip on Riverdale Road, Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury said. 

Precious Wilmer left the girls in the car with the engine running near a gas pump while she went inside the convenience store, Marbury said. 

She came out of the store and saw her car being driven away with her children in the back seat. 

Shortly into the search, Georgia State University police Chief Josephy Spillane found Arya walking down the shoulder of a roadway near I-285 and Riverdale Road, Clayton County polcie said. 

After roughly two hours, baby Ava was found in the middle of South Fulton Parkway still strapped in her car seat. 

Marbury said WSB-TV photojournalist Brian Ferguson led police to her after he saw an objecting sitting in the road on his way to cover the scene. 

The girls appeared to be OK, but were taken to Southern Regional Medical Center as a precaution. Metro Atlanta temperatures were in the 20s, but with winds reaching 20 mph, it felt like they were in the single digits, WSB-TV reported

Atlanta police later located Precious Wilmer’s stolen SUV on Metropolitan Parkway. 

No description of the suspect has been released. 

Steve Bannon strikes deal in Mueller probe: reports

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 10:14 AM

Steve Bannon Makes Deal With Robert Mueller

Steve Bannon has struck a deal to be interviewed by a special prosecutor in the Robert Mueller investigation, according to reports.

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Check back for the latest updates in this developing story.

Trump White House exposé ‘Fire and Fury’ could be TV series

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 11:01 PM

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House – What You Need to Know

“Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” could be adapted from a book to a TV series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the rights to the controversial Michael Wolff exposé of the Trump White House has been purchased by Endeavor Content for TV and film. Endeavor Content was created in 2017 as talent agency WME and talent management company IMG combined its film financing and scripted TV sales operations into one banner.

THR reported that Endeavor Content will start shopping the TV series adaptation, as a network is not yet attached to the project.

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“Fire and Fury” was written based on Wolff’s access to the Trump White House, and includes details from over 18 months of conversations with Trump and senior staff members. Some claims in the book include that Trump didn’t expect or want to win the 2016 election, he was upset that A-list celebrities didn’t come to his inauguration, he couldn’t get through a lesson on the U.S. Constitution and media mogul Rupert Murdoch called him an “idiot.”

Related: 10 stunning claims about Trump White House from ‘Fire and Fury’

Other claims say Trump eats fast food out of fear of being poisoned, Trump’s daughter Ivanka has goals of running for president, and Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was aware of potential conflicts of interest with Russian ties.

The claims in the book have been denied by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who referred to the book as “complete fantasy and just full of tabloid gossip.”

Interest in the book grew when news from the book was leaked, and authorized excerpts were published soon after. The publication of the book was moved from Jan. 9 to Jan. 5 as the White House attempted to stop its release, and within two days of sales, “Fire and Fury” debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. THR reported that according to the book’s publisher, Henry Holt, more than 1.4 million hardcover copies were ordered and 700,000 copies have been shipped to date.