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Día de los Muertos

What is Dia de los Muertos?

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a two-day holiday—celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2—where families come together to celebrate, pray for and honor their loved ones that have passed. It is primarily a Mexican tradition and other countries around the world also honor the deceased. In the Philippines, relatives visit the graves of those who have passed, bring flowers and light candles. In Brazil, there is Dia de Finados. In the United States, Nov. 2 is similarly recognized as All Souls’ Day.

How is Día de los Muertos celebrated?

Families often set up an altar, known as an ofrenda . Every ofrenda also includes items meant to correspond to the four elements: earth, water, air and fire. On the altar, items of the departed can include their favorite items—such as snacks, toys and photographs.

Also you will often see small skulls made of sugar or chocolate. Food such as pan de muerto a pastry with a pair of crossed bones on top covered in sugar. The most important flower is the marigold, though its meaning varies. Its vibrant yellow petals are said to represent the sun and act as a guide for the souls.

Other significant flowers include white baby’s breath, which can stand for purity, as well as the bright red velvet flower, which often add a splash of color to ofrendas.

Some families extend their homes, by allowing neighbors to visit the ofrendas.

Major celebrations have also parades, exhibitions and street fairs.

What food is eaten on the Day of Dead?

Traditional Day of the Dead food includes:

  • Agua de jamaica (hibiscus flower water)

  • Agua de tamarindo (tamarind water)

  • Calavera (Sugar skulls)

  • Horchata, or orxata, which are Day of the Dead drinks made of with rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon (recipe below)

  • Caramel flan (Day of the Dead desserts)

  • Sopaipillas

  • Calabaza en tacha (candied pumpkin)

  • Tamales

  • Blue corn enchiladas

  • Day of the Dead cookies

Here are some resources and events the whole family will enjoy to learn more about Día de los Muertos


Prep Time : 10 MINUTES

Soaking Time: 4HOURS

Total Time: 4HOURS 10MINUTES


  • 1 cup uncooked white rice

  • 4 cups water

  • 12 ounces evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Pour the rice and water into a blender. Let soak at room temperature 3 to 4 hours, or up to 12 hours, until rice is softened.

  • Strain and reserve the rice infused liquid and discard rice, or keep the rice in the water (see recipe notes).

  • Add in the evaporated milk, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon in with the rice and water.

  • Blend on high until completely smooth. Serve chilled or over ice.

Straining Rice: Optional

Some people do not like the texture of the ground rice in their horchata, and they prefer to strain. If you do not mind the texture, you definitely do not have to strain, and some people prefer it this way. Just make sure to blend for a full 2 minutes if you intend to keep the rice in your drink. It will be slightly thicker and have a powdery quality.


Decorate a Sugar skull!

Above is a link to a printable Skull that can be used to decorate for Día de los Muertos!


  • Construction Paper

  • Markers

  • Stickered Jewels

  • Glue

  • Scissors

  • Artificial flowers



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