Posts tagged dia de los muertos.

A Makeshift Ofrenda


We are gearing up for Halloween here in DC - mijo is going to be a shark - but we haven’t abandoned our Día de los Muertos habits entirely. I made an ofrenda as best as I could without pan de muerto and giant cempazúchil.

If, like me, you are interested in some Day of the Dead flavor and are in DC or NYC here are a couple of options to see ofrendas:

Mexican Cultural Institute in DC: Nov 2-8

National Museum of the American Indian Heye Center in NYC: Nov 2

And for those in Mexico looking for ideas, here are my Día de los Muertos posts from years past: 

Ofrendas in Coyoacan and at the Casa Azul 

Ofrenda at Museo Dolores Olmedo  

My ofrenda from last year 

Día de Muertos Roundup

As everyone is packing up and heading to wherever they are headed for Thanksgiving, I thought I would post some final photos from our Día de Muertos excursions around Mexico City. This year we finally got down to Xochimilco to see the ofrenda at the Museo Dolores Olmedo. It was pretty spectacular - the photos don’t really do it justice. The good news if you haven’t been yet is that it will be on display through the end of the year. 

This was my first time at the museum and it lived up to its reputation. The grounds are beautiful, complete with roaming peacocks and lush gardens. I will be making a trip back to see the permanent collection and to eat at the restaurant, which looked and smelled delicious.

On the night of November 2nd we went down to Coyoacán with friends for some tacos and mezcal and to see the crowds. You might remember that last year we went to Coyoacán and the Casa Azul during the day to see the ofrendas, which was a much different experience. At night the square and the surrounding streets were packed with families dressed up in costumes. Most were more gory and scary than I am used to seeing in the US, even the kids. Everyone just seemed to be out to see what everyone else was dressed as. It was pretty great.

Here we are with one of the many people in costume who were posing for pictures [for a few pesos, of course]. What you can’t see is the back of this guy’s jacket.  It says “Policía Federal.” Would be funny if it weren’t so sad… 


For the first time this year I put up an altar for Día de los Muertos. It’s pretty modest, but I think it is pretty good for my first time! I had tons of cempazúchil (marigolds) and pata de león (lion’s paw, I actually don’t know what these flowers are called in English) that I arranged on the altar and all over the apartment. I added a sugar skull, a giant pan de muerto, candies, a bottle of mezcal, velas (candles) and photos of our loved ones who have passed. I have some papel picado that I might add because, when it comes to altars, more is more. And if I were going to be really true to the tradition and include things that the deceased loved in life, I would add some beer and a couple of packs of Pall Malls.    

So what do you think? Anyone else putting up an altar for the first time? 

Check out some amazing altars I photographed last year around town here

Special thanks goes to my husband who went to the tianguis and got all the supplies to make this happen while I was out of town.