Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico on November 1st and 2nd to remember friends and family members who have passed away. It’s a bright and colorful celebration that engages all of the senses. See our guide below, which explains some of the traditions of the holiday.
ALTARS: People build elaborate altars in their homes and in cemeteries to honor the deceased. Photos of the deceased, crosses, and marigolds decorate the altars. “Ofrendas” (offerings) of gifts, alcohol, and favorite foods and sweets of the deceased are left for the spirit to enjoy.
SUGAR SKULLS: Skulls made of sugar are elaborately adorned and used to decorate altars. They also serve as a delicious treat!
MARIGOLDS: Altars are decorated with “flor de muerto” (marigolds) which are thought to attract the souls of the deceased to the altars and offerings.
PAN DE MUERTO: Pan de Muerto is a sweet bread eaten on Día de los Muertos. It is decorated with pieces formed to look like bones on top.
CATRINAS: José Guadalupe Posada illustrated the original “Calavera de la Catrina” (Catrina Skull, pictured above left) in 1910 as a parody of the upper-class. Since then, the Catrina calaveras have become a symbol for Día de los Muertos.