HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For decades, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery turns into an elaborate place to honor those who have passed away for its annual Día de Muertos celebration.
Saturday kicked off a full day of events and festivities that brought out dozens of guests.
"Just to honor our loved ones, also just to participate in our culture and share that everybody," said guest Laura Childress of Oxnard. "But more to honor our loved ones and know that they're always in our hearts. We'll never forget them. It's nice to share that with other people."
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican cultural holiday celebrated every Nov. 1 and 2.
The centuries-old holiday is filled with rich symbolism. Altars are covered with traditional gifts, food and meaningful items of their loved ones. Those that are no longer with us are remembered through prayer, storytelling and music.
One key element to every altar are marigolds, or "flowers of the dead," which are flowers with a strong scent. Many believe they attract the deceased and the scent leads them back home.
According to Mexican folklore, the shredded petals left on the floor create a trail providing guidance to those who are no longer with us.
Festivities began Saturday morning and will last through midnight. For the first time, the day portion featured a children's area.
There will be dancing and musical performances. It will be including a performance that honors Aztec goddess, Mayahuel.
Dancer or "danzante" Osvaldo Carrero said their job as danzantes is to awaken people's hearts to explore their culture.
"A lot of our families who, of course, are immigrants in L.A. have no way of sometimes going back home to celebrate this beautiful holiday," Jimenez said.
ABC 7 is the event media sponsor.