Day of the Dead

by Erika Woelfel

Last week’s travels in Mexico City gave me an up-close, personal view of Day of the Dead, a popular tradition in Mexican culture. The morbid theme of death is converted into something joyful, fun and communal with colorful altars built to commemorate the dead. Offerings (ofrenda) of food and drink, sugar skulls, candles, photos, colorful paper and orange marigold flowers are displayed to celebrate the departed loved one and let them know they are still remembered. November 2nd is the official day for Dia de los Muertos although festivities may start in the middle of October.

During my visit, Day of the Dead altars were seen everywhere in public from restaurants to shop fronts, hotel lobbies and popular tourist destinations. Friends told me that altars are also created at home or grave sites to celebrate the lives of ancestors and loved ones who have passed. Customs may vary from town to town, and rituals may vary from Mexico to the US but the essential theme remains the same – this is a time to reconnect with the dead.

 day of dead alterDay of the Dead altar in the courtyard at Frida Kahlo’s home.


A riot of color helps celebrate and rejoice in the lives of departed loved ones.

day of dead chefs

Some altars even have a theme, and this one represented cooking.


Add some Dia de los Muertos fun into your home!

Colorfully yours,


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