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MEXICO CITY, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The streets of Mexico City are packed with vendors peddling a variety of Halloween costumes which are juxtaposed with Day of the Dead decorations. To the residents of the city's southern Mixcoac neighborhood, this is something they have started to get familiar with over the past decade.

"Since the 1980s, Halloween's influence in Mexico has been gradually increasing," said Josefina Garcia, the director of Collections and Educational Services at the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City.

"It is now quite common to see people including witches Cheap Air Max Wholesale , pumpkins and ghosts in their Day of the Dead altars," Garcia said.

It is also now commonplace to hear children ask for candies ("trick or treat") during Day of the Dead festivities while they dress up in Halloween costumes, the director added.

While noting that the two cultures have merged to a certain extent in recent decades, Garcia said she believed that the traditional festival Day of the Dead will not die out.

"Mexico's education system puts a lot of emphasis and time into teaching young people about the traditions and significance of the Day of the Dead traditions. Almost all Mexicans know that witches and pumpkins have nothing to do with Day of the Dead," Garcia told Xinhua.

Furthermore, the United Nations Education Cheap Nike Air Max 2018 Mens , Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) "protected" the Mexican tradition in 2008 by registering Day of the Dead on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The UNESCO declaration aims to preserve the celebration from outside influences such as Halloween and mass tourism.

Garcia attributed Halloween's infiltration in the Latin American country to many factors including Mexico's proximity to the U.S. where the scary holiday is extremely popular in the film industry, online and with retailers.

For all the infusion of the two festivals, Day of the Dead and Halloween are quite different apart from their proximity on the calendar, according to the director.

Halloween originated in pagan and Celtic traditions from Ireland and Scotland about 2,000 years ago. The Celts believed the door to the underworld opened on Oct. 31 and the dead returned to terrorize them, hence they created a festival to protect themselves.

Mexico's Day of the Dead Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Mens , originated from the indigenous cultures 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, is now celebrated to remember the deceased loved ones on Nov. 1 and 2.

In Mexico, Day of the Dead is celebrated in most households by mixing modern religious elements with indigenous traditions. On the home altar, a crucifix may be placed among painted skulls Cheap Nike Air Max Mens , food laid out in the shape of skulls, incense and photos of dead relatives and friends.

Day of the Dead "parties" take place in cemeteries where families gather to clean and decorate graves with marigolds and candles to the tune of traditional music. They believe that happy spirits will provide protection and good luck to their families.

"There is a space in Mexico for both holidays just as long as people do not lose sight of the differences," Garcia said.

Over the recent years, Halloween has become the world's second most commercial holiday after Christmas.

Shopkeepers and stall owners in Mexico have taken advantage of the booming market for Halloween costumes and accessories.

"I have been setting up a stall around Day of the Dead every year with my family for the past eight years. In that time, we have ordered and sold more and more Halloween merchandise like witches' hats, devil and cats' ears Cheap Air Max 2018 Mens , vampires' teeth and zombie face paints. We still sell all the usual Day of the Dead materials but Halloween sales are definitely catching up. Parents with their children buy the most Halloween related items on our stall," Jose Perez, a street-seller in Mixcoac, told Xinhua.

The fusion of traditions is not only happening in Mexico. With all the hundreds of Mexican migrants now living in the United States, there are lots of places that celebrate this holiday alongside Halloween in the United States, including San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Mexicans have also multiplied efforts to better preserve their tradition Cheap Air Max 90 Mens , including Day of the Dead.

With the help of 20th Century Fox's 2014 animated movie "Book of Life" which involves Mexican legends and myths, children all over the world were opened up to the colorful world of Day of the Dead. The film was directed by Mexican Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy).

Pixar is also slated to bring out its own animated Day of the Dead movie, currently titled "Coco", in the autumn of 2017. However there is concern among Mexicans as it will be directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), a white, man from Ohio with no Mexican connections.

For the first time Cheap Air Max Mens , Day of the Dead has also officially arrived in the United Kingdom through a special exhibition, set up in association with the Mexican and British governments, as part of "2015: Year of Mexico in the UK". The "Days of the Dead Festival" at the British Museum in London will last from October 30 to November 2.

"The main aim of both Halloween and Day of the Dead is to have fun, whether it is by scaring your friends or remembering your deceased loved ones. Both celebrations, like so many others such as Christmas and Easter, are no longer pure. They have been mixed and fused over the years and generations. However it is important not to lose the traditions we currently have Cheap Nike Air Max 2018 Shoes ," Garcia said.

TAIPEI, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- More than 80 percent of tourists planning to travel to south Taiwan's Tainan have canceled their trips over fears of a dengue fever epidemic in the city, the local sightseeing association said.

Taiwan has reported a record 8,677 dengue fever cases since May. On Friday, 617 new cases were reported, breaking the record for highest daily increase in cases Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Shoes , t

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