Are you the kind of person who isn't quite ready to let go when Halloween is over? Why not keep the celebration going with a party to honor Dia de Los Muertos? Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) takes place on November 1st and 2nd and coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The holiday is especially important in Mexico where it seems to have grown out of ancient Aztec traditions. So what exactly is Dia de Los Muertos and how do you celebrate? Glad you asked! The goal of the celebration is to honor and celebrate dead friends and family. You can ask invited guests to bring pictures of their own relatives that they wish to honor and create and decorate an altar. The altar can be as simple as a table covered with a table cloth, decorated with candles, the favorite foods of the departed and of course their photos. Below are two examples.

day of the dead altar

dia de los muertos altar

Handmade and heartfelt decorations are key and traditional items include tissue paper flowers and sugar skulls (such as the ones below), skeleton decorations are also appropriate. Day of the Dead is not just a celebration of the dead, but also a celebration of expression and art and so making your own decorations is key. This article from the Arizona Republic Newspaper has some great ideas.

sugar skulls

For food, traditional Mexican dishes like molé, tamales and pan de muerto (pictured below) are excellent choices. Kitchen Daily has some great recipes.

bread for day of the dead

For entertainment a Latin band or  Mariachi band is the obvious choice, but other ideas like a Latin DJ or even a magician or fortune teller can be appropriate as well. A face painter can also help get guests of all ages in the right spirit and appearance for the evening.

So what do you think? Will you be hosting a Day of the Dead party?