Latinas Are Gearing Up for Día De Los Muertos With The Most Bright And Dreamy Altars We’ve Seen Yet

credit: estebangiles24 / Instagram

Día de los Muertos has been celebrated since the days of the Aztecs and for many of us in Latin America, it’s a holiday rife with culture, love, and celebrations for our deceased loved ones. If Día de los Muertos has grown in popularity, the tradition of building ofrendas to our deceased loved ones has exploded completely. 

Ofrendas— or offerings— are ritualistic shrines that honor deceased loved ones. While usually bold and sentimental, ofrendas can take on any shape or size. Highly personalized for each loved one, the shrines typically feature things an ancestor loved in their life on earth. Each ofrenda is unique and beautifully embodies the spirit of Día de Los Muertos. 

As you gear up to prep your own ofrendas this year, these nine alters from across Latin America will blow you away with their beauty and consideration for the ones who have left us behind.

1. This lively Ofrenda filled with love, light, and color.

It’s not uncommon for ofrendas to feature candy skulls and marigolds. Dia de Los Muertos altar decorations typically include marigolds of some sort, whether they are handcrafted or bought fresh. Legends cite marigolds as a sort of pathway for the dead during their visits to the living during celebrations, guiding their spirts to their altars with their vibrant colors and beautiful scent.

2. An outdoor altar made of love and light for those on their otherworldly journey.

What better way to lead your ancestors to your ofrenda than by incorporating a string of lights that will capture their attention and fill their hearts? This year consider decorating your altar with scattered brilliant marigolds and strings of fairy lights.

3. The Ofrenda that embraces La Virgen de Guadalupe.

In order to incorporate Aztec and Catholic beliefs, many ofrendas feature Christian iconography. La Virgin of Guadalupe, also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, has long been a venerated image of life and motherhood in Latin American countries. Around this time of year, it has become commonplace for cultures to embrace the darker and scarier stories of their cultures and histories, and as sinister as Dia de Los Muertos may appear to the onlooker, images of La Virgin on altar often prove it’s the holiday is much more about the celebration of life and our ancestors than it is about embracing the more menacing aspects of what some believe death to possess. 

4. The ofrenda loaded with colores y flores and all of the family.

When it comes to mourning the dead, we don’t always consider honoring the animals and pets that touched our lives so dearly during the time that they lived with us. This year, consider taking a few hints from the Instagrammer above who made sure to include photos of the people and pets that have left her in this life.

5. This ofrenda celebrating those who came and left before us.

Ofrenda competitions have become common in communities that celebrate Día de los Muertosx.

6. An angelic ofrenda full of offerings.

This dreamy ofrenda does its best to attract the deceased with an angelic setting. With lace, white candles, and roses and marigolds of primarily white and pink colors, this ofrenda looks like a daydream rather than an ode to the dead. Left to nourish those on the other side, fresh fruit is often added to ofrendas. 

7. An ofrenda in progress.  

Many household ofrendas are built over the course of several days. More details are added to the altar up until Día de los Muertos.

8. An altar that got creative with cempasuchitl petals.

Cempasuchitl, or Aztec marigolds, signal the departed spirits to their ofrendas. If you’re a DIYer with an eye for detail, designing an ofrenda with marigold petals might be a fun way for you to go. 

9. This massive Puebla ofrenda.

Día de los Muertos has become such a widespread holiday that public areas— like restaurants and shops— often build ofrendas of their own. Public ofrendas often incorporate the natural elements as well as decorations and they can be any size and incorporates the natural elements as well as decorations. This gorgeous ofrenda filled with flowers, plants, and fruit is several feet long and is an example of unique ways to use fruits to toast young ones. 


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