THE HISTORY 

 Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead is a celebration of life and death.  The dead are believed to still be members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit.  During Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos, they temporarily returned to Earth to visit loved ones.  Holiday food includes pan de muerto, a sweet egg bread often decorated to look like twisted bones.  Skeletons represent loved ones often portrayed doing activities they enjoyed doing when alive.  Sugar skulls are made to decorate ofrendas honouring loved ones and to give to children.

 

The centrepiece of the celebration is an altar, or ofrenda, built in private homes and cemeteries. These aren’t altars for worshipping; rather, they’re meant to welcome spirits back to the realm of the living. As such, they’re loaded with offerings—water to quench the thirst after the long journey, food, family photos, and a candle for each dead relative.  Marigolds are the main flowers used to decorate the altar. Scattered from altar to grave site, marigold petals guide wandering souls back to their place of rest. The smoke from copal incense, made from tree resin, transmits praise and prayers and purifies the area around the altar.

 

Day of the Dead is an extremely social holiday that spills into streets and public squares at all hours of the day and night. Dressing up as skeletons is part of the fun. People of all ages have their faces artfully painted to resemble skulls, and, mimicking the Calavera Catrina, they don suits and fancy dresses.

Celebrate With Us!

CATRINA/CATRIN

Dress up as a Catrina, female sugar skull, or a Catrin, male sugar skull.

MUSIC AND DANCE

Traditional dance and music from Mexico will be on stage from community groups and local artists.

ALTARS

Both Traditional and International Altars will be on display in multiple locations.  The community is encouraged so sign up to build their own.