Inspiration for this Day of the Dead decoration kit comes from observing Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos traditions and from the Mexican collections at the Museum of International Folk Art, in Santa Fe.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is celebrated on November 1 and 2, though October 31 may be included. The multi day celebration originated in Mexico and is centered around family and friends gathering to remember and pay their respects to those who have died. This celebration is meant to be joyful, respectful, and loving.
During this celebration, activities include cleaning up and decorating grave sites and building home altars (ofrendas). Normally built of three tiers, ofrendas contain photos of the departed and their favorite saints on the top tier, favorite foods, and beverages of the departed on the mid-level, and on the bottom level candles and water are placed to light the way home and refresh the departed after their journey. Calaveras (skulls made of sugar) and marigolds are also placed throughout the altar to welcome the dead.
Other figures seen during the three-day celebration include calacas or skeletons (joyful representations of an active afterlife) and catrinas (representations of women skeletons wearing European dress)
This kit includes all you need to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in your very own way.
To learn more about the Day of the Dead celebrations and to see related objects visit: the Museum of International Folk Art
PHOTOS BELOW SHOW SOME INSPIRATION FOR THE KIT:
L: Masks, paper, ca. 1960. Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. R: Stick puppet, paper and wood, ca. 1960, Mexico. Gift of Girard Foundation Collection, Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe. Photograph by Pamela Kelly