This year, Kendall Whittier is welcoming the spirits back to the living world for Día de los Muertos with an informative — and crafty – altar talk and public altars in a handful of Kendall Whittier businesses.
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated on Nov. 1-2. It is said that during this period, the border between the spirit and living worlds dissolve and the souls of the dead return to the living world to feast, drink and dance with loved ones. In turn, the living honor the dead with Ofrendas (offerings), small altars in the home decorated with photos of the deceased, candles, marigolds and the deceased favorite food or snacks.
A short, educational talk about Día de los Muertos and Pan de Muerto, translated to Bread of a Dead, a traditional food offering, will take place at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 24 at Pancho Anaya Bakery, 2420 E. Admiral Blvd. The talk is free and open to the public.
“Día de los Muertos is a well-known traditional holiday in Mexican culture, but a lot of people still don’t know how they can get involved or participate,” said Jessica Jackson Seay, executive director of Kendall Whittier Main Street. “We wanted to host this altar talk and public ofrendas as a way to educate and celebrate the day as a community.”
Along with the talk, those of all ages can participate in creating crafts as an ofrenda, either public ones in Kendall Whittier or on a personal altar. Crafts include 3D marigolds, which symbolize the brevity of life, and coloring sugar skulls (calaveras), which represent the departed soul.
Immediately after the talk, attendees can visit any of the locations in Kendall Whittier with public altars to take their ofrendas. Locations include: Pancho Anaya Bakery, St. Francis Xavier Church (2423 E. Admiral Blvd.), Circle Cinema (10 S. Lewis Ave.) and the Kendall Whittier Main Street office, (2205 E. Admiral Blvd.)
Those who are not attending the altar talk are welcome to visit the public altars at any of those locations during regular business hours between Oct. 24 and Nov. 2 to leave an ofrenda for a loved one or special spirit.
Kendall Whittier Main Street is a nonprofit organization that works with businesses, property owners, and community partners to create vibrancy in Kendall Whittier’s commercial areas. Cultural diversity and inclusion are a core value of the organization. Kendall Whittier is a Certified Cultural District by the Oklahoma Arts Council.