First I want to thank you for joining me as I invite you into my family’s home to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos. How we celebrate is an accumulation of years and memories stacked one on top of another. Traditions aren’t made over night, but why not start a new one now?
I am going to share with you my family’s traditions and some insights on how you can begin your own. So come on in…
Preparations for me are all in the details, find what you love and go with it. Enchanted by flowers and décor I volunteer to man all the floral arrangements. Deep in a sea of Marigolds I lose myself while mom masters the kitchen.
No one in the family loves décor and getting their hands dirty with itty bitty details? Don’t fret. Buy a few potted flowers, because we do that too!
The altar is the heart of the holiday, and each year ours grows bigger and bigger. I would compare the altar to the idea of your Christmas tree. Every year new pieces are added, carefully wrapped up, packed away and brought back out the next year. New faces, new offerings, new collected mementos have taken our altar from a fire place ledge to a three tier dresser/cabinet. So…don’t feel bad if yours starts small, your altar can be solely dedicated to one person or like ours a community of people who have passed through our lives.
Ok. I am not your chef, but food is life and this year mom made a Mexican Pibil Chicken dish that I can try and ask her the recipe for. If you want it. Food is whatever makes you happy and feeds the family well. There is no traditional Dia De Los Muertos dinner, but we try to pull off a meal that feels good to the soul and keeps us in the spirit. Also make sure you place a plate of dinner on the altar for your spiritual guests to enjoy.
Pibil Chicken, Yucatan Achiote Sweet Potatoes and Blue Corn Tortillas.
Between the food, the altar, and the presence of family and friends your Dia De Los Muertos holiday will be a close to the heart tradition just like it is for me and my family. Don’t be too hard on yourself or let high expectations stop you from diving in. One photo and a candle can be your altar, some El Pollo Loco chicken and rice your meal, and if it’s just you and your cats, well that’s just fine.