Mexican Holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Explored at the Grand Rapids Public Library

The Grand Rapids Public Library will honor the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) October 31-November 2, 2014. Altars celebrating the lives of those who have passed away will be on view.   Over 20 community-built altars honoring those who have died will be on display.


Día de los Muetros 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 muetro. 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 Friday, October 31 – Sunday November 2. 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 a Family Day during Día de los Muetros on Sunday, November 2 from 1:00 – 3:00.  There will be educational activities for families including sugar skill decorating, face painting, crafts and light refreshments. Local author and altar creator Roberta King will read from her book He Plays a Harp and discuss her altar she created honoring her son, the subject of her book.


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.


Contact Kristen Corrado at 616-988-5402 x 5438.