Hi, friends! How are you? Hope you had a good weekend. In today’s post, I am sharing our family photos from our visit to Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos 2019 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. We attended the DIA Day of the Dead (another term used for Día de Los Muertos) art exhibit at the beginning of October– right after watching the Taiwanese musical Formosa Roadside Wedding Banquet.
If you’re interested in viewing the Ofrendas art exhibit, then you still have some time!
The exhibit ends on November 10, 2019. A few of my Instagram (IG) friends told me the art exhibit is also a yearly exhibit that is held in October. I learned something new because I didn’t know this! This was our first visit to the Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos and it won’t be our last!
WHAT IS EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS?
El Día De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday that is celebrated in Mexico, the United States, and all over the world. Many people confuse El Día De Los Muertos with Halloween because the holiday falls on the same date as Halloween.
It is also a tradition to wear skull-themed face paintings (sugar skulls) and dress up so this may be another reason why people confuse Día de Los Muertos with Halloween.
“This year in the United States, the Day of the Dead is seemingly everywhere with colorful sugar skulls and skeletons being sold by major retailers, and a new animated Pixar movie, “Coco,” that prominently features the holiday.
Although it may appear similar to Halloween, these holidays are vastly different. Instead of focusing on fears and frights, the Day of the Dead is a celebration of life that centers on families gathering together to remember their dead, and inviting them briefly back into their lives.”Quote from “What is the Day of the Dead?” from the National Council on Family Relations
The Day of the Dead holiday begins on October 31st and ends on November 2nd. According to National Geographic, El Día De Los Muertos was first celebrated with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people several thousand years ago. Now the cherished holiday is celebrated around the world!
WHAT IS AN OFRENDA ALTAR?
An ofrenda altar is not an altar for worshipping, as some may confuse it to be. Instead, the altars are used as the centerpiece of the Day of the Dead celebration.
Offerings like food, family photos, and candles are placed on the ofrenda altar as a loving tribute and “to welcome the spirits back to the realm of the living” (National Geographic).
“If one of the spirits is a child, you might find small toys on the altar. Marigolds are the main flowers used to decorate the altar. Scattered from altar to gravesite, marigold petals guide wandering souls back to their place of rest. The smoke from copal incense, made from tree resin, transmits praise and prayers and purifies the area around the altar.”Quote from “Top 10 Things to Know About Day of the Dead” by Logan Ward for National Geographic
ABOUT THE DIA’S OFRENDAS: CELEBRATING EL DIA DE MUERTOS ART EXHIBIT
The Detroit Institute of Arts partnered with Detroit’s Mexican Consulate to host the Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos each year around the end of September or early October.
The DIA even offers educational resources to help teach your child about Day of the Dead! I’m using it for my kids’ homeschool studies. Go to the DIA’s website page about the Celebrating el Día de Muertos art exhibit and scroll to the end of the page.
Click on the “LEARNING RESOURCES” image to view the lesson plan options. There are 5 lessons featured on Día de Muertos. It’s a great resource to have because the lessons also connect to the Ofrendas art exhibit.
EIGHT MORE EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS LESSON IDEAS
Whether you homeschool your children or your kids go to a private or public school, creating activity and lesson ideas about Day of the Dead is a great way to teach children about a new culture!
Here are a few more El Día de Los Muertos activity and lesson ideas. **PSST! Use my affiliate links to purchase any recommended product. It doesn’t cost you extra and GLD may make a small commission. Thank you for your support!**
- Attend an El Día de Los Muertos festival or event (like we did at the DIA in Detroit)!
- Check out or buy books to read about Day of the Dead.
- Create colorful and creative sugar skull face paintings. (Here’s a post featuring a DIY sugar skull I created for Zhen.
- Make a Día de Los Muertos Friday y Diego Paper Collage. (We actually did this last year and had a lot of fun making it!)
- Create a DIY ceramic sugar skull.
- Watch a Día de Los Muertos read aloud video from Kid Time Story Time.
- For older children, click here to watch a 5-minute documentary about “Mexican Day of the Dead” by The British Museum.
- Get a Day of the Dead art pack like this one from Michigan creative Jenna of Call Her Happy.
GO SEE OFRENDAS: CELEBRATING DIA EL MUERTOS ART EXHIBIT @ THE DIA!
Remember, the Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos art exhibit ends on November 10th so make plans to see it soon! The DIA is open on the following days and times:
Tuesday – Thursday: 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Friday: 9 A.M. to 10 P.M.: (Friday Night Live! is a must-see, too!)
Saturday – Sunday: 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Click HERE for more information about the Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos art exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan!
MORE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE OFRENDAS: CELEBRATING EL DIA DE MUERTOS ART EXHIBIT
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All photographs, with the exception of the Day of the Dead art pack, are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.