Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico. It occurs on the 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy day of All Souls' Day. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, and using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed.


Families visit the cemeteries to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones with ofrendas (offerings), often including orange marigolds. Ofrendas are also placed on home altars with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto (bread of the dead) or sugar skulls. Families spend time at altar praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased.

Make pan de muerto

Common symbols of the holiday are the calavera (skull) and the calaca (skeleton). The most important thing to note is that this is not a morbid occasion, but rather a festive time to honor and remember the deceased.

How to make sugar skulls


Pablo Remembers, by George Ancona
Day of the Dead, by Tony Johnston
Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book, by Jeanette Winter
Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration, by Richard Cleminson Keep
Felipa and the Day of the Dead, by Birte Muller
I Remember Abuelito/Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito, by Janice Levy