Up next in How to Celebrate the Day of the Dead (6 videos)
Celebrate the Day of the Dead with help from this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Orange marigolds
- Day of the Dead bread
- Sugar skulls
- Bowl of water
- Fond memories
- Extra food and drink (optional)
- Candles (optional)
- Photos of the deceased (optional)
- Other items that represent the deceased (optional)
Buy orange marigolds
Buy orange marigolds for the ofrenda, or altar. These will be sold in abundance close to the holiday at any Mexican market you visit. Other flowers can be used, but marigolds are the traditional flower of the holiday.
Find Pan de Muerto
Find pan de muerto, or Day of the Dead bread, at any Mexican bakery. This bread is sweet and made with orange peel and anise. Small strips of dough are baked to the top to simulate bones. Other food can also be placed on the altar.
Get sugar skulls
Get sugar skulls, a traditional candy, to lay on the altar. They are what they sound like -- candies in the shape of skulls. Sugar skulls are typically used for the altars of children, but can be used on any altar.
Bring washing supplies
Bring a bowl with some water, soap, and a towel to place on the altar. It is believed that the souls of the dead will want to wash up before they come back to the realm of the living.
Go to the cemetery
Go to the cemetery with everything you have gathered to build the altar. You should go late in the night, around midnight, and plan to stay.
Remember your loved one
Remember your loved one with family and friends. This can mean anything from sitting silently to dancing and singing. Each family is different and celebrates differently, but Dia de los Muertos is not a holiday of mourning -- it is a day to celebrate the life of someone you loved.