Significance of the Altar of Marigolds

Here is the beautiful altar display at the Dias de los Muertos celebration. Structurally, ofrendas--or offerings--include a three-tiered altar. The lower portion is dedicated to the underworld, the next to the world of the living, and the third to the afterlife. Photos of departed loved ones are framed or affixed to the altar. Offerings often include the deceased's favorite food and drink. Water is served to refresh the soul on its journey. Papel picado (cut paper) adorn the altar and capture the wind. Nahuatl, the Aztec term for marigolds, which grow and wilt quickly, reflect the fleeting nature of life and their aroma help lure a spirit back. Candles give light to help direct a path to this world. Personal belongings make the spirit comfortable and welcome upon return.

The Dias de los Muertos celebration is going on today in the Healdsburg Plaza and will continue until sundown. Come join us for music, food, cultural dance, kids activities, and community!

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