Day of the Dead (in Spanish, Día de los Muertos) is celebrated November first and second each year. Probably based on an ancient Aztec festival, Day of the Dead is a celebration in which family and friends gather to honor those who have died. The departed souls are believed to return to visit their living relatives on this holiday. The celebrants create ofrendas, or offerings, for the deceased, which contain favorite foods, mementos, pictures, and flowers. They can also recount amusing family stories or anecdotes. These offerings are meant to welcome the souls so they can communicate with their living relatives and friends. Images of skulls and skeletons are seen during the festival and in the ofrendas, demonstrating that death is a natural part of the life cycle. Día de los Muertos is primarily celebrated by people of Mexican heritage living in Mexico and throughout the world. In the United States, many cities with Mexican-American populations celebrate this tradition in the weeks before and after November first and second.