Querétaro, officially Free and Sovereign State of Querétaro, is one of 31 states that, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 18 municipalities. Its capital city is Santiago de Querétaro. It is located in North-Central Mexico, in a region known as Bajío. It is bordered by the states of San Luis Potosí to the north, Guanajuato to the west, Hidalgo to the east, México to the southeast and Michoacán to the southwest.
The state is one of the smallest in Mexico, but it is also one of the most heterogeneous geographically, with ecosystems varying from deserts to tropical rainforest, especially in the Sierra Gorda, which is filled with microecosystems. The area of the state was located on the northern edge of Mesoamerica, with both the P’urhépecha and Aztec empires having influence in the extreme south, but neither really dominated it. The area, especially the Sierra Gorda, had a number of small city-states, but by the time the Spanish arrived, these had all been abandoned, with only small agricultural villages and seminomadic peoples inhabiting the area. Spanish conquest was focused on the establishment of the Santiago de Querétaro, which still dominates the state culturally, economically and educationally.
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.
Most of the state is dry, with the exception of the north, which is temperate and rainy. The average temperature is 18 °C. Three well-defined climate areas are in the state. The south has a temperate and fairly wet climate. Temperatures are relatively stable through the year, ranging from an average of between 12 and 18 °C, with most rain falling in the summer. This region includes the municipalities of Amealco, Huimilpan, Pedro Escobedo, San Juan del Río and Corregidora. The center and west have drier and hotter climates, especially in areas under 2,000 metres. Here, the Sierra Madre Oriental and parts of the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt impide moist air from arriving. This dry area includes the municipalities of Querétaro, Corregidora, El Marqués, Peñamiller, Esequiel Montes, Cadereyta, San Juan del Río, Tolimán and Tequisquiapan. The Sierra Madre Oriental area has climates that range from temperate to cold, varying significantly from north to south and even more due to altitude. The north tends to be warmer than the south, but average temperatures can range from 18 to 28 °C at lower elevations and between 14 to 20 °C at higher elevations.
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