The Day of the Dead Altar is a community memorial to celebrate the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead and to honor those who have departed before us. Within Mexican culture’s complex fusion of Aztec, Mayan and Spanish traditions, death is merely one part in the wider cycle of existence. The Day of the Dead celebration is the result of the ancient ritual venerations and offerings to the goddess Mictecacihuatl (“Lady of the Dead”) for deceased children and adults, and the Spaniards’ desire to accommodate these festivities within the Catholic celebrations of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The altar is a place where members of the community can participate by sharing prayer, lighting a candle or bringing a memento to place at the altar as an offering for their lost loved ones.
Death burns the lips of other cultures but the Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love.’” Octavio Paz, Mexico’s Literature Nobel Prize