The Day of the Dead is a misnomer. It doesn’t last just a day, but three. November 2 is the main celebration, but the day before is known as Children’s Day or Day of the Little Angels (Día de los Angelitos).
Some parents who have lost children will spend this afternoon creating an altar in the graveyard or at their home (either inside or outside for everyone to see on the street). Items are left, such as favorite foods and drinks, games, toys, balloons, footballs, as well as the traditional Day of the Dead offerings. It’s a touching way to remember the children who have died.
Día de los Angelitos happens the day before the big events of November 2 because it’s said the spirits of the children are so eager to come back to the land of the living, that they run ahead of the adults, who arrive a night later.
The day is also sometimes called el Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents), but this can be confused without further clarification for Mexico’s version of April Fool’s Day on December 28.