Dia de Muertos is a joyful celebration of loved ones who have died. It is celebrated every November 1 and 2.
Altars known as ofrendas are filled with photos, as well as food and other items that were enjoyed by those who have died, to remember and celebrate their lives.
We are celebrating with multiple ofrendas this year at all three library locations, available for viewing through November 4. See details below!
At the Main Library
Local artist and librarian Raleigh Ocampo has put together a beautiful ofrenda in the Main Library Idea Box called Dia de Muertos: Lagrimas de Alegria (see video below). You can see it through November 4.
More about this month’s Idea Box display
From our Community Engagement Team:
“This Day of the Dead ofrenda was designed and built by fellow librarian, talented artist, and Oak Park resident Raleigh Ocampo in remembrance of the lives of those we have lost to COVID-19.
“The Day of the Dead altars provide the community with an opportunity to reflect on the pain and loss experienced throughout this global pandemic. This Mexican holiday recognizes the fragile nature of life and gives a space to remember, reflect on, and celebrate our loved ones. These universal themes— life, death, love, and loss—allow for people to engage and connect with the space in a meaningful and powerfully educational way.
“As the library continues to partner with members of the community who represent different identities, we also aim to create spaces where voices are amplified and differences are celebrated. As we learn from these differences, our community can only thrive.”
At Dole and Maze branches
The ofrenda at Maze Branch honors those we have lost due to breast cancer.
And at Dole Branch, the ofrenda honors famous chemist and former Oak Park resident Dr. Percy L. Julian.
Multicultural Learning Coordinator Juanta Griffin reached out to the Julian family and learned about some of his favorite foods and routines, which she incorporated into the ofrenda.
When you visit, you’ll find some of his favorite foods waiting for him. Do you share any favorites?
Want to learn more about Dia de Muertos? Explore resources for early learners
Why do we sometimes say Dia de los Muertos and sometimes Dia de Muertos? Community Engagement Coordinator Nora explains that Dia de los Muertos is actually an Anglicization of the proper phrase Dia de Muertos, adding in the unnecessary “los” to match the English translation.
Kids craft: Make your own marigolds
Stop by the Main Library Children’s Services desk and pick up a bag with supplies to make six beautiful marigolds out of tissue paper! These are available now and for as long as we have supplies.
Watch these videos
Miss Beronica and Miss Nora made a video for early learners on how to build an ofrenda.
Miss Juanta and Miss Nora also made a beautiful video about Calaveras, the sugar skulls you see during Day of the Dead.
Explore more with these books and activities
- Following Miss Beronica and Miss Nora’s instructions in their video, build an ofrenda to remember someone who has died. What did they love? Add it to your offering.
- Elisabeth at Spanish Mama is a former teacher who has wonderful crafts, activities, books, and vocabulary to introduce to kids.
- Print out and color your own sugar skill mask at Mami Talks.
- Make paper marigolds with these tutorials from the Crafty Chica.
- Browse the Dia de Muertos books on Hoopla.