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DIY: Day of the Dead Altar

Nov 01, 2016

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.

 

32 Comments

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Where is the Day of the Dead celebrated?

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

General In The Forums

CaptJolee
CaptJolee posted in Random:
sadly nope :P
reply about 7 hours
Tomboy_
Kaitlyn Age: 12  Bio: he was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her mother, Jessica Cadice was truly a woman with a heart of gold. while her husband, Anderson, a secret agent working for the English Spies Association. They own a Modern mansion in england.  Kaitlyn in the story, is explained with her personality and relationship with the butler, cook, maid, and others. Chapter 1  Kate was a girl of 12 years old. Kaitlyn, her name to be prefered, Woke up in the middle of the night. sweeping her covers to the side, she stepped out of bed, opening her window to breathe the fresh night air. Contrary to what she expected, the air was misty and very musty. She covered her nose. "In england, why must we be inside clouds at 1 am?  Kaitlyn went downstairs of the blackwell mansion. Her silk slippers made a rough sound over the dark grey carpet on the balcony. Looking over to the kitchen. She smells A fresh Peach pie. She automatically knew who made it. Mr. Baxster, the butler, loved pies. He owned a shop 1 street corner away from the mansion. Kaitlyn went down stairs to find the cook, Miss Laquel, obviously making a variety of pies. Pies scattered everywhere, Kaitlyn scratched her head. Why would mss Laquel make this many cakes at 1 am?   Chapter 2 Kaitlyn decided to investigate the scene. She heard her father talking about "investigating a scene" one time. She Looked for Any clues. She found a Silk blue notebook with a lock on it. She suspected Miss Laque had the key. Nonetheless, It was probably important, so she Hid it in the kitchen cupboard behind the stinky cheese spices. Dad never used them. Mom said they were taking up space. Dad always said he'll get rid of them soon. "Soon=Never. What a waste." She said, holding her nose. She opened one pie. "Ugh! What a horrible smell!" She screamed. The cook rubbed her eyes. "Huh? Who.. Nevermind. Now the pies. " Where was Kaitlyn? Hiding in the window curtain. "Mr. Baxster will LOVE these Pie samples for his bakery." She said in a suggestively Happy voice. She ran upstairs to her room to get dressed, after putting the pies To rest in her Home-sewed bag. She put the two samples of the stinky pie in the mouse trap. And then, she put the rest in the garden. Kaitlyn peeked out of the curtain. She held it up to make her way into the living room. "Roses eat pie?" She looked at the plants. "Ahh. Fertilizer Pie. Bón Appetit, flowers."   Chapter 3 Looking at the flowers covered in fertilizer, she realised she was wasting time. The clock said  I:oII which mother taught her was 1:02 am. She decided to catch up on sleep. It was to early to be awake. She ran up the stair to her bedroom. She ockked the door. tHen she realised.. Her bedroom balcony had been open. There were no signs or anyone in in the home. "Oh, it must be the wind" She shrugged . Which was quite reasonable because this wind was stronger than a mountain lion. Particularly tonight.  She put her robe on and made her way to the castle-like balcony. "What a dark night. Starry, beautiful" She lay there, on the balcony. "What a-" *yawn* She fell asleep on the balcony.
reply about 16 hours
SnowflakeAngelKitten
As I said, what you think is entirely up to you. I think soon I'll make a story saying my self-confidence. :rainbow
reply 1 day
heckinmemes
i have a feeling it's bad that i think your life is great compared to mine
reply 1 day
Eri-Prime
"SnowflakeAngelKitten" wrote: Lot's of people in my life know that I'm energetic, usually happy, I fangirl a lot, and I have a smile all the time. But do you really think my life is only like that? Well, let me enlighten you on my struggles. During school: 6:00 A.M. Wake up 7:15 A.M. Be ready to leave 7:30 A.M. Go to school and be chided about my forgetfulness 7:35 A.M. Get on the bus 7:36 - 8:10 A.M. Get by when everyone around me made me feel overly uncomfortable 8:15 A.M. Go to locker Some time after locker time - 8:29 A.M. Get stressed out by guys in my class that antagonize me 8:30 A.M. - 3:15 P.M. Get by with everyone giving me drama I do  not want in my life 3:16 P.M. Go and get on the bus Time on the bus - 3:30 P.M. Feel uncomfortable with end-of-the-day action 3:31 P.M. Go home to start on homework Time afterwards Be bombarded with responsibilities that are hard to keep up with 9:00 P.M. Go to sleep During Summer: Wake up Take a shower Get breakfast Read Role-play Dinner Watch NCIS Role-play From waking up - Role-play Session #2 Have brothers and dad that keep on giving me stress Have older brother tell me about every single terrible thing that is worth discriminating me about Go to bed Have an insane and weird dream As you can see, I have daily struggles. Here are what keeps me with a smile and a happy attitude: Have a love for being around others Reading Role-playing Fangirling Optimism Easily humored This is my life. Whether or not you think that it's worth sharing is up to you. Just wanting to let y'all know. Have a great day! Wow, what a life. Hope you don't get stressed out anymore! 5.00: Wake up 6.00: School 7.15: Locker, chat with my pals(girls) and buddies(boys). 7:30: Super talkative class. 8.00: FUN! Awesome teachers, except for my math teacher. (He is terrifying) 9.30: Recess and get your phone confiscated. Woooo. 10:00: back to class. Urgh. 3.00: HOME SWEET HOME! Get jumped on by a dog and greeted by a cat. 4:00: Finally get the dog of me. 4.15:homework with a cat on my lap. 5.00_7.00: Blog, forums, hang out, walk the dog with my buddies. 10.00: sleep *Fireflies plays in background* Yeah, that's my 'boring' life.
reply 1 day