Honoring the spirits of the deceased, El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is celebrated annually in Mexico, the United States, and Latin American countries on November 1st and 2nd. On these special days, it is believed that the souls of the dead come back to commune with the living. Families prepare for their loved ones’ return by creating ofrendas, or altars, adorned with photographs of the deceased, candles, flowers, and colorful papel picado, in their homes. The altars can also include the favorite foods and drink of the deceased and other items enjoyed during his or her lifetime. In addition to the altars, families celebrate by visiting cemeteries to adorn the graves of loved ones and celebrate their lives with dancing, feasting, and music.
In conjunction with the Brooks’ celebration of El Dia de los Muertos, the museum invites students at local schools to create altars in memory of people who have died and are important to the students. Working together with their teachers and peers, the students create altars in memory of those who have passed.
Altar from the 2013 Ofrendas: Student-made Altars exhibition
Altar dedicated to Trayvon Martin
Whitney Achievement Elementary, Teachers: Lurlynn Franklin and Sheila Sewell, Class: 5th Grade Section 5-02