Experts agree that respecting the tradition and understanding its origins are key.

Día de los Muertos was an obscure holiday in the Mexican state of Oaxaca for many Mexican Americans.

Chicano activists and artists in the 1970s helped propel Día de los Muertos into the mainstream.

Marchi said activists introduced the Day of the Dead in museums, art galleries, elementary schools and universities.

The number of events honoring Día de los Muertos typically correlates with the Hispanic population in a particular city, experts say.

It's one of the few celebrations with both Indigenous and European cultural roots, Arizona State University transborder studies professor Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez told Axios.

Scholars worry its meaning will be lost as the ancient holiday grows more commercialized.

This includes bakeries, flower shops, artists and craftspeople whose work creates the materials for altars.

This better reflects the nature of the holiday itself, which she says is often a local celebration recognizing people who used to live in the community.

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