Dia de los Muertos is the time to honor our loved ones who have passed away, but are not forgotten. Mexicans build small alters in their homes in remembrance. Each family’s alter is different, but there are some key components every memorial will feature. At the centerpiece of the altar is a photo of the person or persons for whom the altar is dedicated. Around them are placed items that represent the personality of the honorees, symbols of things the each person enjoyed while alive or things for which they were known. Orange and yellow marigold flowers are a must. It is believed their distinctive scent will attract the dead. Light from the burning candles and the pungent scent of burning incense is thought to help guide the spirits to the alter. Lastly, a feast of the honorees’ favorite dishes and treats is prepared for the spirits, and the living, to share.
See the alters at Xcaret‘s Day of the Dead celebration.