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How Day of the Dead Is Celebrated

In ancient times, people were buried close to their family homes and there was no need to have separate grave decorations and home altars, these were together in one place. Now that the dead are buried away from their homes, graves are decorated with the idea that the dead return there first. In some villages, flower petals are laid in paths from the cemetery to the home so that the spirits will be able to find their way. In some communities, it is customary to spend the whole night in the cemetery, and people make a party of it, having a picnic supper, playing music, talking and drinking through the night.

The Full Story of Deathknell

Grand Apothecary PutressHordeUndeadAgathaVal’kyrLady Sylvanas WindrunnerIcecrown CitadelLady Sylvanas WindrunnerUndertaker MordoUndeadFresh out of the GraveUndertaker MordoDarnellThick Embalming FluidCorpse-Stitching TwineThe Shadow GraveUndertaker MordoMindless ZombieUndeadThose That Couldn’t Be SavedUndertaker MordoCaretaker CaiceValdred MorayMarshal RedpathLilian VossThe WakeningValdred MorayUndertaker MordoMarshal RedpathLilian VossCaretaker CaiceValdred MorayCaretaker CaiceDeathguard SaltainBeyond the GravesRecruitmentShadow Priest SarvisScourge on our PerimeterShadow Priest SarvisNovice ElrethNovice ElrethLilian VossThe Truth of the GraveLilian VossNovice ElrethLilian VossExecutor ArrenThe Executor In the FieldExecutor ArrenDuskbat WingScavenger PawThe DamnedAllianceNight Web’s HollowExecutor ArrenUndeadDeathknellNo Better Than the ZombiesMarshal RedpathDarnellAssault on the Rotbrain EncampmentShadow Priest SarvisMarshal RedpathShadow Priest SarvisDeathguard SimmerVital IntelligenceCaptain MelracheCaptain VachonCaptain PerrineDeathguard SimmerUndead

Items of Interest

Lilian Voss goes on to become an important lore character, and her story will continue across many zones and expansions.

Quests Found in Deathknell

Fresh out of the GraveThe Shadow GraveThose That Couldn’t Be SavedThe WakeningRecruitmentScourge on our PerimeterNovice ElrethThe Truth of the GraveThe Executor In the FieldThe DamnedNight Web’s HollowNo Better Than the ZombiesAssault on the Rotbrain EncampmentVital Intelligence

How to Visit Mexico For Day of the Dead

This holiday is an excellent time to visit Mexico. Not only will you be able to witness these special celebrations, but you can also enjoy other advantages of Mexico in the fall. Although families celebrate this holiday privately, there are many public displays that you can enjoy, and if you act respectfully, no one will mind your presence in the cemeteries and other public spaces where Mexicans celebrate and honor their deceased.

You can also visit Day of the Dead destinations to have the most memorable experience. Of course, if you can’t make it to Mexico, you can still celebrate the holiday by making your own altar to honor your loved ones who have passed on.

Differences Between Day of the Dead and Halloween

Day of the Dead and Halloween have some common features, but they are distinct holidays. They both come from early cultures’ beliefs about death that later mixed with Christianity. They are both based on the idea that the spirits return at that time of year. Customs around Halloween seem to stem from the idea that the spirits were malevolent (children were disguised so that they wouldn’t be harmed), whereas in Day of the Dead festivities, the spirits are joyfully welcomed as family members that one hasn’t seen in a year.

Day of the Dead continues to change, and a mixing of cultures and customs continues to occur. Halloween festivities are becoming more prevalent in Mexico: masks and costumes are sold in the markets alongside sugar skulls and pan de muertos, costume contests are held along with altar contests in schools, and some children dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating («pedir muertos»).

Foto por Christian Kober / Collection: Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images

History of the Holiday

In Pre-Hispanic times, the dead were buried close to family homes (often in a tomb underneath the central patio of the house) and there was great emphasis on maintaining ties with deceased ancestors, who were believed to continue to exist on a different plane. With the arrival of the Spaniards and Catholicism, All Souls’ and All Saints’ Day practices were incorporated into Pre-Hispanic beliefs and customs and the holiday came to be celebrated as we know it today.

The belief behind Day of the Dead practices is that spirits return to the world of the living for one day of the year to be with their families. It is said that the spirits of babies and children who have died (called angelitos, «little angels») arrive on October 31st at midnight, spend an entire day with their families and then leave. Adults come the following day. Learn more about the origins of the holiday.

Romana Lilic/Moment Open/Getty Images


Once mindless slaves to the terrible Lich King, the gruesome Forsaken have overthrown his rule and now pledge loyalty to the wicked banshee queen Sylvanas. Under her reign Forsaken armies have reclaimed the ruined kingdom of Lordaeron. Every day is a struggle against vengful humans who wish to wipe them out, and a constant battle of wills against Horde allies who distrust the sinister motives of the undead.

Quick Facts

  • Deathknell is the Undead starting area.
  • The events in this zone have changed since it was first introduced in Classic, and they are now set directly after the Cataclysm.
  • This area scales from levels 1-60.

Deathknell Summary

As a newly risen Undead, you learn about your race’s unique way of dealing with your condition. You help, or try to help, other fresh Undead come to grips with their new existence. You struggle with and ultimately fail to help Lilian Voss, and you take part in putting down those too emotionally distraught, or with brains too rotted, to cope. Finally, you are given some information on the Scarlet Crusade, a religious organization dedicated to destroying the Undead, and therefore your enemies, to take to a field agent in Tirisfal Glades.

Food Associated With the Holiday

The spirits are greeted with offerings of special foods and things that they enjoyed when they were alive. These are laid out on an altar in the family home. It is believed that the spirits consume the essence and the aroma of the foods that are offered. When the spirits depart, the living consumes the food and share it with their family, friends, and neighbors. 

Other items that are placed on the altar include sugar skulls, often with the person’s name inscribed on the top, pan de muertos, a special bread that is made especially for the season, and cempasuchil (marigolds) which bloom at this time of year and lend a special fragrance to the altar.

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