Día de los Muertos
October 27 & 28, 2023
Santa Fe Plaza
Bienvenidos to a new tradition in the Santa Fe holiday calendar! A Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. Said to have originated in Mexico, Día de los Muertos represents a time to honor and reconnect with the dead in a uniquely beautiful and meaningful manner.
Poster artwork courtesy Omar Pedroza, Urban Image Creative Studio.
The Día de los Muertos tradition places great emphasis on maintaining ties with ancestors, who are thought to continue to exist on a different plane. The belief behind Day of the Dead practices is that spirits return to the world of the living for one day of the year to be with their families. To honor these travelers, the living invite the deceased back into their earthly homes to honor and celebrate them during the joyous and festive Día de los Muertos.
A focal point of the celebration is an altar, known as an ofrenda, created in honor of the deceased loved one. The family prepares the ofrenda with offerings, such as the loved one’s favorite foods, drinks, and personal things, as well as their pictures to welcome the spirit home after their long trip from the grave.
Enjoy mariachi music and traditional entertainment on the Santa Fe Bandstand, festooned with papeles picados, the colorful cut paper decorations seen at celebrations throughout Mexico.
Take part in the Día de los Muertos tradition by decorating several community ofrendas, generously designed and constructed by local volunteers. Purchase decorative items that customarily adorn the ofrendas that honor those who have passed on. Expect to see brightly colored masks, decorative skulls, and hundreds of marigolds! Throughout the day, enjoy signature Mexican cuisine via food trucks and prepare for the evening at the glow-in-the-dark face painting booths.
After the sun sets, the Santa Fe Plaza will light up with a Glow-in-the-Dark Candlelight Parade. With the Plaza aglow, live music from a host of global bands will fill the Plaza, reminding us to rejoice and dance in the memories of our loved ones.