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Celebrating Dia de Los Muertos

Riles & Bash_Celebrating Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday about love, celebration and honor.  

It's a time where family members remember their loved ones, and one way to do that is with an ofrenda or altar.

Dia de Los Muertos_photo

It is believed that the altar is the portal in which family members that have passed can cross back into the world of the living.  Think, Coco the movie.

There are many ways in which you can build an altar, and there isn't a "wrong" way, but there are certain elements that you want to incorporate into it:


Creating your altar is an opportunity for the family to come together.  Building your ofrenda should be a happy time where the family can design the altar and remember loved ones.

When it comes to "where" to build the ofrenda, it can be almost anywhere.  It doesn't have to be a designated can be a shelf or part of a table. 


The ofrenda should represent earth's elements: water, wind, fire and earth.

For water, it can be as simple as a cup of water.  The idea is that a loved one can quench their thirst after their journey back into the living world.

Wind is often represented by papel picado which is a banner that the breeze can blow through. 

Riles & Bash_Celebrating Dia de los Muertos_Papel de Picado_photo Papel de Picado Shop
photo: papelpicadoshop

Fire is represented by a candle and illuminates the path for your loved ones to cross over. 

Riles & Bash_Celebrating Dia de los Muertos_photo inflightideas.blogspot
photo: inflightideas.blogspot


Earth is represented by fruits, dirt and flowers.  You may be familiar with seeing lots of orange flowers, or marigolds around an ofrenda.  This flower represents the dead as when it's cut, it dies very quickly.

Riles & Bash_Celebrating Dia de los Muertos_Marigolds_photo
photo: viaraiz 


Food and Drinks are an important part of the ofrenda.  Dia de los Muertos is about your loved ones coming back and joining you for a feast, so you'll want to prepare something worthy of a celebration.

You'll also want to add your loved ones favorite food and/or drink to the ofrenda.  


Personalizing your ofrenda with your loved one's mementos is another element that you'll want to include.  What was something that was important to your loved one's that will represent them on the ofrenda? 


To be visited by your loved one's, you'll need to place their photos on your ofrenda.  If you've seen the movie Coco, you might remember that loved one's could not cross if their photo was not on the ofrenda, so make sure you include this important element. 

Riles & Bash_Celebrating Dia de los Muertos_Ofrenda_Coco the Movie
photo: Coco the Movie 


Some people also include things like an arch or something similar to represent represent the portal for loved ones to cross over.

Riles & Bash_Celebrating Dia de los Muertos_photo Meliza Montero

The Riles & Bash Fiesta Streamer Backdrop is a colorful decor element that you can add to your ofrenda.  It can be used as the backdrop or used to create your portal for your loved ones.


You may also want to include some religious items, or sugar skulls to your ofrenda.

Riles & Bash_Celebrating Dia de los Muertos_sugar skull_photo inflightideas.blogspot
photo: inflightideas.blogspot 


Happy Building!

What kind of items do you include on your ofrenda? 


Riles & Bash_Fiesta Streamer Backdrop with Crepe Paper Flowers
Riles & Bash_Fiesta Piñata with Colorful Streamers

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