Kw-logo-smaller

DIY: Day of the Dead Altar

Nov 01, 2013

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...
Head to the famous cliffs in La Quebrada, Mexico and watch divers jump into what looks like just ...

Random in the forums

Mizzcalum
Mizzcalum posted in Debating:
I would be Venassa
reply 5 minutes
MissD
MissD posted in New Users:
You know what, I have asked a lot, like A LOT of people - every person I have ever interviewed these three questions and you are the first person that answered the question about going back in time - so levelheadedly! (is that even a word??!) What a grounded answer.  love the answers above you too as I think it's a cool way to describe giving advice as we can all use the wisdom of others as perpetual learners but still - very cool answer. I think if you feel drawn towards a helping profession and that is the very best thing for you. Dream big now and you will always have universal help to get to your goal! 
reply 5 minutes
MissD
MissD posted in New Users:
Welcome to kidzworld! :D You sound like a really interesting person! ^^ As Kirten said, kw is one of the best places on the internet and..it's just amazing. :'D I'm Sahithi, but you can call me Jelly, as that's what I'm called on kw. :D I joined kw in March 2013, and I'm really glad I did. :')  My answers for the questions you asked :D - 1) Reading. Reading books moves me the most, I really, really like reading. :)  2) Um, I'd tell myself to be more confident, helpful and open minded. 3)  I'm trustworthy. You can definitely trust me. :)  And hey, Deanna, you never answered these three questions yourself. ;D  Yay! Love your answers!! Great job and you are right, so I shall later on tonight :D 
reply 9 minutes
rayjohn
rayjohn posted in General:
7:36 here
reply 15 minutes
Love-Yah-Boo
Don't have one. I mainly just use my computer. :)
reply 19 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

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

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

157262_(2)

When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...