Día De Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that takes place on October 31st-November 2nd. November 1st is Día de los Inocentes, Day of the Innocent, and honors deceased children. They are offered sweets and toys. Día de los Muertos is a celebration of the lives of our loved ones who have passed away.
Familiar symbols that you may see during Día De Los Muertos holiday are calacas and calaveras, skeletons and skulls, and you will see them as sugar skulls, dolls, and painted on peoples faces. The calacas are portrayed enjoying life in entertainment situations. Ofrendas are covered with the flower Mexican cempasúchiles, marigolds, and pan de muerto, sweet bread. The cempasúchil flower is very important on an ofrenda as it is believed it helps guide our loved one’s soul back to the world of the living.
We spent time celebrating Día de los Muertos with our FriendsPDX community. We enjoyed pan dulce and Mexican hot chocolate, decorated sugar skulls, watched Coco and Book of Life, and put together an ofrenda for community members who we want to remember. This ofrenda included things these individuals loved so they may awaken from their eternal sleep to share celebrations, and enjoy their favorite food, drinks, and pastries, that we presented with the ofrenda.
And of course, we learned about the cultural significance behind all of these festivities and spent time supporting the Mexican, Latinx, and other youth and staff who were honoring this traditional holiday and sharing it with the rest of the community. Check out our Instagram Reel of making sugar skulls here!