Day of the Dead is a holiday that has been celebrated on November 1–2 in central and southern Mexico for many years. More recently it has been embraced by Santa Fean’s and visitors alike. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.
Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas; honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed; and by visiting graves with these gifts.
Whether you have long celebrated the holiday, or are just learning about it, here are few businesses and events that honor this cultural tradition.
Ever Been To A Dia de los Muertos Event? Here’s Your Chance!
Dia de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout the city. Here are few events you might want to attend, participate and observe.
Day of the Dead Events on November 1
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe invites you to “Vivos Entres Los Muertos” The Day of the Dead honoring our ancestors, our Families, Earth and Memory on November 1–2 and 8th. There will be altars, shrines food, music and more! Call 992-0591 for more info. El Museo Cultural is located at 555 Camino de la Familia.
There will be live music, dancing and art projects for kids, New Mexican food and hot cocoa at Gerard’s House. Bring a photo for the altar or a message of a deceased loved one for the prayer wall. Performances will be by the Santa Fe Symphony and Wise Fool. The event begins at 4:00 and runs to 6:30 pm. The event is free. Gerard’s House is located at 3204 Mercantile Court, 424-1800.
Traveler’s Market will be serving traditional refreshments from 5 - 7:00 pm on Nov. 2, and offer an exhibition and sale of Day of the Dead folk art Sunday November 1 from 4 – 6:00 pm.
Teatro Paraguas, Santa Fe Danceworks and La Cocina de Balam will host the Second Annual Day of the Dead Event, featuring traditional and special dances, poetry in Spanish, live music, a procession and an altar honoring ancestors. $7 - $10. Event starts at 1:00 until 9:00 pm. 424-1601. Teatros Paraguas is located at 3205 Calle Marie.
A Santa Fe favorite, the Museum of International Folk Art hosts “Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead at Museum Hill. Come by and decorate sugar skulls and make picture frames. Visitors are invited to bring a photo of a loved one who has passed away. Sample pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and enjoy live music by Las Flores del Valle and a performance by Los Ninos de Santa Fe. There will also be a skeleton/calaca face painting. All by museum admission. New Mexico residents are free every Sunday. Youth 16 and under are free!
Have you ever painted a ceramic skull? Here’s your chance to do so at The Inn and Spa at Loretto. A ceramic skull painting mini-workshop hosted by artist Lori Snable will be held from 4–6:00 pm in the Living Room at Loretto. $30 for a skull and acrylic paint, or $45 for skull with ceramic paint and firing. All supplies are included. The workshop is limited to 20 people. First come, first serve. The full Living Room menu will be available featuring beer, wine, custom crafted cocktails and delicious food for purchase. Free valet parking with purchase.
Artists Stacey Sullivan de Maldonado, Pamela Joy TrowJohnson, John Lorenzen and Larry Montoya participate in a group show titled “Una Coloboracion Dia de los Muertos” There will be a series of receptions which begin on October 30 at 4 pm, October 31 at 4 pm and November 2 at 4:00 pm. Teresa Befin will also be offering Tarot card reading at all receptions. Receptions will be held at the Liquid Outpost Coffee House and Gallery at 211 Old Santa Fe Trail.
Day of the Dead Shopping Experience
Alla Bookstore carries the largest collection of Spanish language titles in the United States. It carries a large selection of Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead books. The bookstore is located at 102 West San Francisco on the second floor. 505-988-5416 .
¡Mira! is one of downtown Santa Fe’s fun shops to wander through and purchase Day of the Dead skulls and ephemera. The shop is located at 101 West Marcy. 505-988-3585 .
YIPPEE YI YO is another Day of the Dead shop find. Here you’ll find muertos figurines and many brightly decorated skulls. The shop is located at 54 E. San Francisco Street. 505-988-2757.
Ortega’s on the Plaza carries Day of the Dead sterling silver jewelry by artists Shane Casis, Gregory Segura and Tom Dewitt.
For a wide selection of Day of the Dead items, be sure to visit Jackalope at 2820 Cerrillos Road. 471-8539.
If you can’t visit Mexico for the Day of the Dead, I’m here to tell you that you can absorb much of the culture and feel of this treasured holiday right here in Santa Fe! To plan your next trip during the Day of the Dead observation here in Santa Fe, order your official Santa Fe travel guide!