WITH DAY OF THE DEAD JUST AROUND THE CORNER, I thought I would encourage y'all to actively participate and not just by painting your face and attending one of the two events below, but take it to the next level and create an Altar for your home!
*A Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altar is meant to honor the memory of someone who touched your life. This can be anyone from the family pet to Mother Teresa. Anyone who had a positive impact on your life can be the subject of your Day of the Dead altar.
There are people who believe that those building an altar are trying to raise the dead. This can’t be farther from the truth, because the belief is that the dead are never really gone, so raising them would be redundant. There is nothing demonic about building a Day of the Dead altar.
Are we trying to communicate with the dead? Yes, and no. There are two aspects to altar making on el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). The first is to communicate with those that are no longer physically with us. I don’t see how this is any different from people going to visit the graves of their dearly departed. It isn’t about witchcraft, it is about having an eternal dialogue with those that we love. The second aspect is the connection it provides us to the world at large and to our place in the after-life. By building an altar we are acknowledging that we go on and that not being physically present isn’t the same as being gone.
Altars should include:
- a picture of the one being remembered
- items they were found of
- something to snack on
Altars could include:
- pictures of saints or religious icons
- toy skeletons, skulls or bones
- sugar skulls (recipe from Angela at mexicansugarskull.com )
- tequila, or their favorite drink and a glass
- soap, water & a small towel (because being dead can be messy)
A Dia de los Muertos altar can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. The purpose of an altar is remembrance, with that in mind feel free to do what you think your honoree would enjoy. While we have included a few guidelines, these are by no means rules to live by. They are a starting place, where you end up is completely up to you.
Some people take up entire corners of their homes with Day of the Dead altars, others use a simple end table dressed up with fabric and other items. The point is, size doesn’t really matter, what matters is the heart you put into it.