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This Denver bakery is creating Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead - classics

Nov. 1 marks the beginning of Dia de los Muertos-- Day of the Dead. The holiday is actually two days - not of mourning, but of celebration.

For many Mexican-Americans, Halloween is a day of preparation.

Nov. 1 marks the beginning of Dia de los Muertos-- Day of the Dead. The holiday is actually two days - not of mourning, but of celebration.

One business in Denver’s Highland neighborhood has been baking a crucial part of the festivities for nearly 40 years.

"Most people don't want to deal with the dead at all; we do," said Laura Lechuga, the owner of Rosales Mexican Bakery.

Credit: KUSA

Dia de los Muertos might sound eerie to some, but not to Lechuga.

"It's just a big celebration in Mexico," she said.

It’s also not the Mexican Halloween, as some might think.

RELATED | Día de los Muertos isn't 'Mexican Halloween'

Credit: KUSA

"No, it's very different," Lechuga said. "You are trying to get the dead person to come and visit you. You're luring them to come, and that's why you offer them everything they used to like."

That's why she bakes things like pan dulce (pastries). There's conchas, churros and cookies, but the star of show is pan de muerto.

"Pan de muerto is a little bit sweet, it's not a whole lot of sweet but it has a very good flavor,” Lechuga said. “It's buttery."

The bread of the dead is supposed to mimic bones. It was one of Lechuga’s dad's specialties, who started the bakery.

Credit: KUSA

"It was a very celebrated day in our home,” she said. "My dad made the first pan de muerto in Colorado."

That’s why people flock to the Rosales Bakery to buy some -- in hopes of putting it out for their loved ones that will visit. For Lechuga, though, she already knows her dad is here.

"I joke about that and I tell my night person, ‘Be careful because if you're not working my dad will come and tell you something and come and help you if you need help too.’"

Rosales Mexican Bakery is located at 2636 W 32nd Ave. Go early! They expect they'll sell out of their Pan de Muerto early Thursday morning.

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