Coahuila is one of the 31 states which, along with the Federal District, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. The state is located in northeastern Mexico on the US border. Coahuila borders the Mexican states of Nuevo Leon to the east, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi to the south, and Durango and Chihuahua to the west. To the north, Coahuila accounts for a 512 kilometres stretch of the Mexico–United States border, adjacent to the U.S. state of Texas along the course of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte). With an area of 151,563 square kilometres, it is the nation's third-largest state.
The Sierra Madre Oriental runs northwest to southeast through the State, and the higher elevations are home to the Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests. The northernmost fingers of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Sierra del Burro and the Sierra del Carmen, reach to the border with the United States at the Rio Grande.
East of the range, the land slopes gently toward the Rio Grande, and is drained by several rivers, including the Salado and its tributary, the Sabinas River. The Tamaulipan mezquital, a dry shrubland ecoregion, occupies the eastern portion of the State, and extends across the Rio Grande into southern Texas.
The portion of the State west of the Sierra Madre Oriental lies on the Mexican Plateau, and is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. The Bolsón de Mapimí is a large endorheic basin which covers much of the western portion of the State and extends into adjacent portions of Chihuahua, Durango, and Zacatecas. The Nazas River, which flows east from Durango, and the Aguanaval River, which flows north from Zacatecas, empty into lakes in the Bolsón. Torreón, the most populous city in the State, lies on the Nazas in the irrigated Laguna Region, the (Comarca Lagunera), which straddles the border of Coahuila and Durango.
Coahuila contains two biosphere reserves. Maderas del Carmen lies on the northern border of the State, and includes sections of the Chihuahuan desert and sky islands of pine-oak forest in the Sierra del Carmen. The springs, lakes, and wetlands of Cuatro Ciénegas lie west of Monclova on the west slope of the Sierra Madre.
Coahuila is largely arid or semi-arid, but the rivers of the State support extensive irrigated agriculture, particularly cotton. The Parras district in the southern part of the State produces wines and brandies. The pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre produce timber.
Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexico where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.
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