Dia de los Muertos Altar

I have been wanting to make my own ofrenda, or altar, for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

This is an altar in remembrance of our loved ones who have passed away. Its a celebration of life and an attempt to demystify death so it isn't so scary. That's why it so often features skulls and skeletons, which are always depicted as happy or dancing and playing music.

The ofrendas are decorated brightly with papel picado, sugar or chocolate skulls, and photos of our loved ones. I decided to start with papel picado - its super easy to make and it turns out quite nicely. Of course, mine will look nowhere near as sophisticated as these-I don't even have a template, much less the know-how. All I am doing is folding the paper and cutting random geometric shapes.

Still, I think that the result I achieved is very pretty and festive enough for my purposes.

I plan on making some more out of a few more colors.

The other thing I am trying to do now is find fresh marigolds and sugar skulls to decorate the altar. I contacted local florist The Tiger Lily to order some and they were super helpful in getting my order in, so it looks like I will have some of those in time.

The sugar skulls seem to be more of a challenge. I contacted Compadres, Mariana's, and La Bonita. The only place that said they might get them a day or two beforehand was La Bonita. Someone has got to carry them, right?? And not just a day before Day of the Dead? After all, sugar skulls do keep for quite a while.

If you know where I can get some please let me know!

And in the meantime, check out this Day of the Dead song with some cool animation.


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