Connecting the community will be a special focus at this year's Dia De Los Muertos celebrations in Ballarat.
Also known as the Day of the Dead, the traditional Mexican celebration reunites life and death and is celebrated on November 2.
The Gatehouse, a cafe inside the main gates to the Ballarat New Cemetery, will host its third Dia De Los Muertos event under COVID-safe guidelines.
There will be an ofrenda (altar) outside for people to place objects or photos to honour loved ones and another ofrenda inside.
The Gatehouse owner and manager Annmarie Sloane encouraged residents to attend the event.
"We encourage people to come and explore the surrounds of the cemetery and to visit their loved ones if they have people who are intermed here because it gives a celebration of life and death together, especially through the pandemic that we have now been going through for two years," Ms Sloane said.
"If they are not intermed at the cemetery then this is where we encourage people to bring photographs of their loved ones and something that reminds them - memorabilia - so you place it on the ofrenda and that way they are part of the celebrations."
The Gatehouse will offer Mexican and treats over the three-day celebration and will extend its opening hours.
"This is a culturally significant event for a lot of nationalities around the world. It is a very reverent and respectful celebration. It's not about going to people's graves and trampling all over them. It's about actually taking candles and celebrating and remembering our loved ones fondly that are intermed," Ms Sloane said.
"It is about life and death walking together, it's not about disrespecting anybody or anybody's culture. It's about inclusivity and connecting the community, especially through the pandemic."
Dia de los Muertos has roots in Catholic and Aztec traditions. Day of the Dead is on November 2, which is also All Souls' Day, but celebrations can also take place on November 1, which is day of the children or All Saints' Day.
People are encouraged to book if they wish to dine at The Gatehouse, a gothic and vintage inspired eatery and creative space. Dia De Los Muertos will be held from October 31 to November 2.
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