Our ofrenda

El día de los muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that brings a large amount of tourists to this area of Michoacán. Locals here build altars, or ofrendas, in honor of family members or friends who have died. The altars often contain food and drink for the dead loved ones. Around this area some people stay up all night with candles at the graves of those who have passed.

It is interesting to observe this holiday. In the past, visitors here at the Bosque have made their own small ofrenda to take to the cemetery in Erongarícuaro. There is a small spot that foreigners and other folks who have no grave to sit by can gather with their altar to loved ones who have died.

This year we had a few visitors and decided to make our ofrenda here at the Bosque. We used wood carvings, steer skulls, a maguey leaf, pata de león (lion’s foot flower), marigolds, and candles to create our shared ofrenda.

Ofrenda during the day

On our ofrenda we placed pictures of the friends, family, pets, and body parts (!) we had collectively lost during the year. There was a 14-year-old man’s best friend who passed away here at the Bosque, a young nurse who died in the war in Iraq, a best friend lost to lung cancer, and a testicle lost to testicular cancer.

While our ofrenda was not traditional, it served its purpose to those who used it as a tool to remember and celebrate the family and friends we had lost during the year. At night, after we returned from visiting some of the local cemeteries nearby, we sat at our ofrenda in reflection.

Our ofrenda at night

For more information about Day of the Dead in this area, visit wikipedia:

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