Kw-halloween-logo-small

DIY: Day of the Dead Altar

Oct 20, 2014

While Halloween is a time to scare people with ghosts and the dead, the Day of the Dead is a time to celebrate ghosts and the dead. A traditional Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos is a time when the souls of the deceased are showered with gifts and given great respect. The days leading up to November 1st, Mexican families create altars to the deceased and decorate them with flowers, sugar skulls, pictures of the loved one and the loved one’s favorite food. On November 1st and 2nd the offerings are intended to nourish the departed soul and give them comfort in the afterlife.

Some families have large intricate altars where they install a structure to cover with photos and foodflowers and gifts. Other altars are simple, small clusters of beloved objects and food.

To create your own altar you can choose whatever size works for you. The most important part of building your altar is to think about the person who has passed and celebrate them and the things they loved.

Supplies:

  • A cleared space
  • Photos of a loved one who has died
  • Belongings of the deceased person- a piece of jewelry, a favorite book.
  • Food that the deceased loved
  • Flowers- marigolds are very typical as the strong smell is meant to attract the soul to the altar
  • Candles- meant to welcome the spirits to the altar
  • Bright paper or fabric

Photos, Marigolds, Candles, Paper to Celebrate a LifePhotos, Marigolds, Candles, Paper to Celebrate a LifeCourtesy of ehow.com
 

Instructions:

  1. Clear a prominent space in the house. Use a tabletop, windowsill or mantle, somewhere where it can be seen.
  2. Lay out a piece of brightly colored fabric or paper. The bright color shows that this is a celebration of someone’s life and a happy event, not a sad one.
  3. Arrange the photos, whether in frames or just the photos, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are visible.
  4. Add the belongings of the deceased, their favorite foods, flowers and candles.
  5. Remember the ones who came before you and celebrate them!

Every Altar is as Unique as the Person it's Dedicated toEvery Altar is as Unique as the Person it's Dedicated toCourtesy of globalexchnage.org
 

Everybody’s altar will look different, just as every loved one the altar is dedicated to is different. And though this tradition may seem morbid and dark to some, in Mexican culture this is a cheerful day. Try out a different point of view and make your own Day of the Dead Altar!

Have Your Say

Who will your Day of the Dead Altar celebrate? What were their favorite foods and belongings? Share your stories in the comments section below.

 

>
>

readers voted!

Comments

anawesomeguy

anawesomeguy wrote:

there is a bread i tried it and it was pretty good
commented: Fri Nov 01, 2013

JennyD

JennyD wrote:

My brother got free food from it
commented: Fri Nov 01, 2013

pricetag

pricetag wrote:

I got extra credit, because i made my face as a calavera today. (:-
commented: Fri Nov 01, 2013

there are 18 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

Poll_dayofthedead

Where is the Day of the Dead celebrated?

  • It’s no longer celebrated
  • All of Latin America
  • Mexico and Spain
  • Southern Mexico

related stories

Hispanic culture is about a heck of a lot more than tacos. Check out the 411 on this vibrant comm...
Micro_hispanic-micro
Hispanic culture is about a heck of a lot more than tacos. Check out the 411 on this vibrant comm...
Want action? Head to the famous cliffs in La Quebrada, Mexico and watch divers jump from suicidal...
Micro_november-micro
November kicks off the holiday season with the Day of the Dead, a Mexican festival celebrating lo...
Head to the famous cliffs in La Quebrada, Mexico and watch divers jump into what looks like just ...

Random in the forums

Jorja999
The first book that was read to me by my learning buddy in Sunnybrook School was Harry potter and the Sorcerer's stone. I was bowled over by the book and it took me to a different world. Harry, Ron and Hermione became my friends as well.  
reply about 1 hour
-Karpov-
-Karpov- posted in Debating:
No. Edit: To clarify, not everyone's opinions matter on every topic. For example, my opinion on how I feel about quantum mechanics doesn't matter because I know almost nothing about it, and I definitely don't know it on a level where I could describe it accurately with math. Or, if someone is to show time and time again that they have no idea what they're talking about for a specific subject, their opinion about it obviously matters less since they're most likely just willfully uninformed. For worldly things like you might see in the Dear Dish-It section, still not everyone's opinions matter though input, even if silly, is usually a good thing. 
reply about 2 hours
naruto200
naruto200 posted in Debating:
While there are quote ''good opinions'' there are supposibly ''bad opinions'' So does every one's opinion truly matter? dispite what they taught us in school.
reply about 2 hours
Keoki
Keoki posted in General:
don't celebrate
reply about 3 hours
-Karpov-
-Karpov- posted in Debating:
"AlphaT" wrote:Define censorship. lol
reply about 4 hours

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

Ow_fright_ad_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...