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Latina/o/x Studies

Celebrando Latina/o/x heritage

Día de los Muertos

Google Day of the Dead 2019 artwork depicting the finely dress skeletal woman La Calavera Catrina with her signature hat with feathers and flowers


Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a national holiday in Mexico and is observed in Latinx communities throughout the United States on November 1-2. Many Mexicans believe that the spirits of the dead return to enjoy a visit with their friends and relatives on this day. Long before sunrise, people stream into the cemeteries loaded with candles, flowers, and food that is often shaped and decorated to resemble the symbol of death.

In many homes people set up ofrendas, or altars, to the departed. These are decked with lighted candles, special food, and whatever the dead enjoyed when they were alive.

Text Source: Holidays around the world. (2017). ProQuest Ebook Central

Image Source: Google Day of the Dead 2019

Elements of an Ofrenda

Dia de los muertos altar infographic. Contents are transcribed in the Elements of an Ofrenda (text) box on the left.


Coronilla, S. and Zisk. M (2013). Day of the Dead: From pre-Columbian roots to today. The Orange County Register. Retrieved from

Google Doodle. Retrieve from

Valdez, A. (2009). A Dia de los Muertos altar. Texas Monthly37(11), 46.

Create a Virtual Altar

Dia de los Muertos virtual alter with three tiers in front of a colorful floral background and a papel picado banner hanging across the top.

Use this background to create your own personal virtual altar. Designs created by Marilu Salcedo, Library Services Specialist.