Honor your loved ones with a digital Día de Muertos altar
Día de Muertos is upon us.
Although death is at the heart of the holiday, Día de Muertos is a celebration of life. It is an opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed away and to honor their memory.
The traditional way to celebrate is with an ofrenda – an altar that often features a photo of the person being remembered, candles, foods and objects specific to them, cempasúchiles (marigolds), papel picado and calaveras (sugar skulls).
Día de Muertos, seen in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, gained popularity in Southern California thanks to groups like Self-Help Graphics & Arts, which began hosting a public event in the 1970s. Nowadays you can find Día de Muertos celebrations all over the region, and we have set up this handy list of where to find them.
Most, if not all, of these events have been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the Los Angeles Times created a digital altar.
The idea was to create a common space where readers could still have the experience of celebrating their loved ones in public, albeit online. We asked you to submit photos of someone you wanted to honor, along with a memory or story about them.
Our initial hope was to get 40 or 50 submissions. We ended up receiving over 1,000 ofrendas from across the country and in four languages. It was the most successful audience appeal in Times history.
This year we are creating a digital altar again. To participate, simply complete the form below. Please note that it will take time for your submission to appear on the page.
We are accepting ofrendas until November 1 at 6:00 PM PT.
Additionally, we will also have a physical altar, which will be part of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s 23rd Day of the Dead celebration on October 29. The altar is designed and built by the Latin decorator and scenographer Ricardo Soltero. It will be a tribute to the employees of The Times, the families of the employees, and the submissions of the Times digital bid from last year. Buy your tickets here.