How to make an Altar for Dia De Los Verdes


Every November 2, known as the Day of the Dead or All Souls’ Day, people transform grave sites, offices, and corners of their homes into vibrant memorials for their deceased loved ones by assembling multitiered ofrendas, or altars. “The day is devoted to the departed, and an altar pays special tribute

Dia De Los Verdes is about celebrating and remembering our Earth and all the gifts she provides. Below are some tips on how to build your Altar.  

• A large photograph of your loved one or Natural Element you are remembering is the centerpiece. Smaller, informal snapshots can adorn the lower levels.

• Water or, more typically, fruit punch is served to refresh a spirit after his journey.

• Pan de muerto , or “bread of the dead,” is a sweet treat. Found at mostpanaderías, the round loaf is topped with a skull and crossbones.

• Salt, a symbol of purification, is for the dead to season the food you've offered 

• Cempasuchitl, the Aztec term for “marigolds,” grow and wilt quickly, reflecting the fleeting nature of life. Their aroma helps lure a spirit back.

• Papel picado serves as a colorful and meaningful trim: Black represents death, purple means grief or mourning, pink is for celebration, white symbolizes hope, and yellow stands in for the sun.

• Sugar skulls, or calaveras, add a lighthearted touch—for both the dead and the living.

• Burning copal is a holdover tradition from the Aztecs, who used the incense as an offering to the gods. 

Be creative and have fun.