One of the most important parts of Dia de los Muertos is making ofrendas, or altars, to honor the memory of your loved ones. Altars contain photos, food and other remembrances of the people who've died, but they also have some common elements, like marigolds, special bread called pan de muerto, calaveras and catrinas, and certain foods. If you have enough space, you're supposed to create an arch over the altar out of sugar cane or flowers.
I especially like this one because the arch says "Long live our traditions."
We bought three bunches and two pots of marigolds, plus some purple and red flowers.
A lot of altars have designs made out of flowers on the floor in front of them, usually, but not always, crosses.
This altar is at the San Pablo Cultural Center, hence the initials.
Sometimes people make these sand paintings in front of their altars, or nearby them.
Indigo helped make this sand painting.
The stuff that goes on the altars varies with each one, but marigolds and pan de muerto is pretty much on all of them. The bread on this altar is particularly beautifully decorated.
I love the big bowls of food on this altar. Grandma's favorite dishes, I suppose.
Because we are Unitarian Universalists, not Catholics, we made a chalice instead of a cross on our floor.
Here's a close up of our altar. The box in between the catrina and the skull is tuna fish, for the cats.