2017 Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead (Spanish, Día de los Muertos) is celebrated throughout Latin America on November 1 and 2, but is more closely associated with Mexico, where it originated. A joyous remembrance of the lives of family members and loved ones who have died, the holiday is a celebration of the cycle of life.  Traditionally, it is said, the souls of the dead return to visit the living for a few brief hours during the celebrations.

In Mexico, Día de los Muertos is marked by festive celebrations to honor the deceased. Cemeteries are cleaned and decorated, special food and candies cooked, and home altars are designed with offerings (ofrendas) to the dead of the things they enjoyed most in life, including food, drink, and even music.

Día de los Muertos is a melding of traditions, Catholic and indigenous. Mexico’s indigenous people preserved their traditions within the accepted practices of the colonial authority, sustaining them through the generations. What has been preserved across time is the message that death is a part of life and the dead live on through our rituals of remembrance.

The altars and artwork in this exhibition were designed and created by Peter Perez, Mario Uribe, Rubén Guzmán, and Martín Zúñiga, and will feature curated items from Liz Camino-Byers’ collection of Mexican folk art. We are also proud to include works by students who participate in our Memory Portrait Competition, and murals painted by students from Community Action Partnership, and museum volunteers. We are grateful for their participation in the exhibition.