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Día de los Muertos

photo by Edward Benavides

photo by Edward Benavides

Dia De Los Muertos Annual Celebration

Free and open to the public!

Participate in art-making workshops, face-painting, a peace and remembrance procession, and visit community altars while enjoying pan de muerto y chocolate.

Altar Exhibition

View Día de los Muertos altars in the Galería Guadalupe created by a variety of artists, families, and organizations.


Key Components of a Traditional Dia de los Muertos Altar

  • Levels:  An altar can have two, three or seven levels. They represent the levels the soul must go through to get to final rest.
  • Image of loved one
  • Star shaped or regular lamp:  To help the soul finds its home.
  • Colorful papel picado:  The union between life and death. The traditional day of the dead colors are orange, black, purple and yellow.
  • Food:  To celebrate the arrival of the spirits we offer favorite dishes, which can include alcohol, cigarettes and sweets.
  • Incense or copal:  To make the evil spirits go away
  • Salt:  Purifies the soul and avoids corruption
  • Cross made of lime (calcium oxide, not the fruit) on the floor:  Represents the four cardinal points to guide the soul.
  • Ash cross:  Cleanses the soul from its wrong-doings.
  • Flower path to the altar:  Guides the soul to the offering.
  • Toys:  To entertain the soul of children
  • Candles and veladoras:  Help the spirt ascend, a symbol of love that guides the soul to the altar. The candles can be purple or white which represent mourning and purity.
  • Personal belongings:  May be photos or objects that the dearly departed used.
  • Water glass:  For the thirsty soul to replenish before its journey back.
  • Pan de muerto:  Represents the generosity of he/she whom receives the soul and the gift of earth itself.
  • Flowers:  The smell of zempoaxóchitl guides spirits to this world.
  • Sugar skulls:  Represent the loved ones who have passed away.
  • Basin:  For the soul to wash his or her hands after the long journey.