Contact: Kristen Corrado
616.988.5402, ext. 5438

Mexican Holiday ‘Día de los Muertos’ Explored at the Grand Rapids Public Library

Community-built altars honoring those who have died will be on display.

GRAND RAPIDS (October 12, 2016) The Grand Rapids Public Library will honor the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) October 27-November 1, 2016. Altars celebrating the lives of those who have passed away will be on view.

Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that honors family and friends who have passed on. Loved ones come together to build an altar, or ofrenda, that celebrate the life and memory of the dead. The day is a time of celebration and joy, filled with talk and memories of those who have died. On the ofrenda many significant objects are placed as gifts to the deceased loved ones. The altar holds four important elements: water, wind, fire and earth. These are represented by a pitcher or glass; candles; papel picado (punched paper); and food, usually pan de muerto. Other items seen on altars include sugar skulls, flowers, photos and religious items.

The altars, built by local residents who want to share the memory of their family and friends will be on display Thursday, October 27 – Tuesday, November 1. Every altar is unique and taken together create a fascinating portrait of what the citizens of Grand Rapids hold close to them.

The library will host a Family Day during Día de los Muertos on Sunday, October 30 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.  There will be educational activities for families including a bilingual story time, live music, sugar skill decorating, face painting, and crafts. Food will be provided by El Granjero and Pan de Muerto provided by Panaderia Margo.

The Day of the Dead program and altars will be held at the Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 616-988-5400 or visit our website at The Grand Rapids Public Library connects people to the transforming power of knowledge.