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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

simran88
simran88 posted in Say Anything:
@AlphaT  You've posted on behalf of everyone else. In their style. XD Now no one needs to post. God bless you for ending a thread in which everyone would post the same opinion and say the same thing. XD
reply about 2 hours
ThePaleWalker636
I found the greatest riddle ever (credits to Ted-Ed), and I want to see if anyone can solve it without looking up the answer. THE RIDDLE OF THE ALIEN OVERLORDS. You and your team have crashed-landed on an ancient planet. The only way off is to appease its three alien overlords, TEE, EFF, and ARR, by giving them the correct artifacts. Unfortunately, you don't know who is who. From an inscription, you learn that you may ask three yes or no questions, each addresses to any one lord. Tee's answers are always true. Eff's answers are always false.  And Arr's answers are random. But, there's a problem. You've deciphered the language enough to ask any question, but you don't know which of the two words 'ozo' and 'ulu' means yes, and which means no. How can you still figure out which alien is which?
reply about 3 hours
CRCardinal
Fear: The Emotion of Death   You can't see me, But I'm there. I'm in your tears, I'm everywhere. I stalk you in your shadow, So stealthy and no slack. I'm made of dark matter, You better watch your back. You can hear me, I'm your beating heart. Inside is emptiness, Tearing you apart. You shiver and shake, At the sound of my name. I engulf you, drown you, Surround you with shame.   I've seen destruction, More than anyone. I'm darker than, The world with no sun. The agony arises, There's so much red. Most of it coming, From the dead. I become your shadow, I'm a terrible sight. And when you see me, You're frozen with fright. I'll grab you by your neck, You'll be thrashing around. You're crying, shrieking, Until there's no sound.   I feel so sad, So empty, so. . . Alone. So you'll feel the same, You'll be on your own. And as long as you are with me, At the point of no return. You will go crazy. You'll crash and burn.   Then you understand, With your slowing of breath. That I am Fear, The Emotion of Death.
reply about 5 hours
XxRuby_PhoenixxX
[Warning: Boring]     It all started on one night where I was doing a quiz on Playbuzz. They were fun, but my mom thought they were inappropriate. Searching the web, she found this site and saw it had quizzes on it. They weren't that fun, honestly. And this site? It was kidzworld. I forced her to let me make an account, and we did. No status. No bio. No mood. No picture. I swore to not go in chatroom or chat with people, because apparently they could be an old man in a basement. I nodded in agreement, saying that she could trust me. Of course, I did some quizzes and went off. That night, we went to bed of course. Now major time skip.    It's, let's say, three nights later. About midnight, and my iPod is next to me. I decided to go and check out "kids world". Clicking into "login", I guessed my password since I really forgot it. Score! Got it right. Anyways, I look around. Forums. Quizzes. Games. And then something spotted my eye.  Chatroom.  Clicking on it, I typed in these exact words.  "Hello?" And that's how my journey started. A few days later, maybe a week, I was introduced to the "boards". Clicking on it, I immediately saw the Roleplay section. Unknowing what it was, I created "Lemini The Witch" and got into an argument with someone who I will not name((*Cough* Gpc78 )). Anyways, I deleted the post. My first Roleplay I made was Crystal Heights. Noobish, stupid, horrible. But surprisingly, people joined. This is where my soon-to-be-best- friend, Ivy, entered my virtual life. And my other best friends. first message: "Are you going to post? We're waiting for you two lovebirds! ;)". Conversation continued. And continued. Our bond grew and grew, until we had reached 100 pages of private messages. 100. Pages. I couldn't believe it at first. 100 pages of messages with my soon-to-be-best-friend. As most of you know, a few months ago, I created several hundred opportunities for advanced roleplayers who were not acknowledged to go through the gates of Roleplaying Heaven. Including me. I helped them by creating the Top Ten Roleplayers, and "accidently" tagging every single advanced Roleplayer. Even Musicgenius showed up. This is a process in the soon to be made   "Roleplaying Council", which I am a part of. During this, me and Ivy were nearing 300 pages of private messages. Crystal Heights was over, but my life was going uphill, closer to opportunity. Even in real life, my hopes were flying closer to the clouds. A few months after this, my faith in the Lord started to fade. I am 10, I started to realize the true meaning of the Bible and what it's message was. I was stuck in the middle of what seemed like a tornado, being swept over to one side, but then jerked back to the other, while being hurt in the progress. I was tearing myself apart. That's went the tornado stopped. It was just rain. I was closer to finding out my true religion. And that was atheism. I felt like I had to have a religion, like something had to have created the universe. My heart was leaning towards Christianity, but my mind was going to atheism. Go with your mind, not your heart, was my instinct. Me and Ivy were nearing 500 pages of private messages. Little did we know that I would be deleting my account and coming back as Ruby Phoenix. As the days passed, my hatred for my user grew. I finally decided to message Jordan that "Please delete my account". I don't know if it was a good thing or bad mistake I did that, but it's too late now. After this,  I felt like my roleplaying creativity was fading away. My titles weren't original like my old ones. I had changed a lot.  And I mean a lot.  On Animal Jam, I was afraid of deleting a buddy. Now I do it without hesitation. I don't cry as much. Like a shell has grown around my emotions. Thanks to the internet, I've grown tougher.  A few months later, my days were, and are, gloomier. I was, and still am, always stressed about tomorrow. If I have too much work. If I can't do things right. If I mess up. If I do anything wrong. I am confused. Why am I here? Where do we go after we die? Why didn't I just continue to not exist? What is my purpose? What's my religion? So many questions for a 10 year old in my fizzing, overloading mind.    I just wanted to share this, just to. 
reply about 6 hours
ScoobysFriend
Listen closely.
reply about 7 hours