I have to tell you upfront creating this altar was very magical. I was surprised how fun it would be to make a simple Day of the Dead altar. As I knelt down and lit the candles and snipped the pretty flowers, I felt a peaceful connection to my honored spiritual guests. It was very simple and quite pretty as well.
Did you know the Day of the Dead tradition began over 3000 years ago, and that this day is celebrated around the world?
What you need to make your altar
- Marigolds and other flowers
- Skeletons and skulls
- Candies or cookies for the offering
- Gold pen or sharpie
Simple Day of the Dead Altar and Ceremony
Now that you have your supplies, you will want to think about who you want to honor. Is it is people you knew in this lifetime who have passed away, or is it your ancestors? My kids and I talked and decided to honor Great Grandma Bee and Grandpa Jack. We wrote their names (in gold) on two tea light candles. We also talked about our heritage which is German, French, Swedish and Italian. All this happened while we clipped flowers and placed candles. Decorating the altar was a great way to open a discussion about those in heaven.
What we took away from our Day of the Dead ceremony
This was a simple hour for all of us to peacefully give thanks to all the trials and the accomplishments of our ancestors. Just the process of making the altar was very magical for all of us, and it was a sweet, somber moment. It was really powerful to make this simple Day of the Dead altar and ceremony. If you want to read more about why we decided to celebrate, and the history of this holiday this is the way. The tradition is rich in history, but it wasn’t always about sugar skulls and lively parades.
While Day of the Dead is not Halloween, it has similar timing due to All Souls Day. In Mexico, it is called El Dia de Los Muertos. Oprah has an amazing article on how Halloween is celebrated around the world. There are other countries with similar traditions that we can learn from regardless of religion.
This post is a part of 31 Days of Halloween