By Marcela de la Mar, Mexican Cultural Center for Latin Life Denver Media
November 1st and 2nd are one of the most important holidays of the Mexican calendar: the Day of the Dead, a celebration day when the souls of our deceased relatives return home to partake with the living and feed off of the essence of the food that is offered in domestic altars.
Altars are considered one of the most important elements of Dia de los Muertos; comprised of fascinating mixtures of symbolism stemming from both native traditions and beliefs brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquistadors. Within Mexican tradition, the altar and its offerings are an invitation to our beloved deceased to be with us in remembrance and in spirit. The altar must include four basic elements coming from nature: earth, wind, water, and fire. Each one is carefully represented within the offerings.
The ‘ofrenda’ or offering is any item placed on the altar which represents a gift to the deceased: be it their favorite food, a particular smell or a shot of tequila, ‘ofrendas’ are our way of showing our love towards deceased relatives. The altar is a complex creation with incredible symbolism as each elements carries specific meaning.
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media, Alter Designs by Norberto Mojarin…Photos taken November 2nd at the Dia de los Muertos opening reception at the Mexican Cultural Center, 5350 Leetsdale Dr., Ste.200 Denver, CO 80246 T: 303.331.0172 www.mccdenver.org
This exhibit will be open to the public through November 9th, with free admission for all from Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.