FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — While Halloween is right around the corner, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art is bringing a distinct and traditional Mexican celebration to the Summit City.
Día de los Muertos, which translates to “Day of the Dead”, is celebrated every year from November 1-2. This is believed to be the one night of the year when the spirits of deceased loved ones and ancestors can return to the physical world and reunite with the living.
According to the tradition of the celebration, those who have passed away are celebrated by living relatives with beautiful displays of marigold flowers, butterflies, food, and personal items cherished by the deceased. This display is set up on an ofrenda, or altar.
Some of the items seen hold a significant meaning as well. For example, marigold flowers/flower petals are traditionally used to leave a trail from the cemetery site to the home of the living relatives so that the spirit can find its way. Mariposas, or butterflies, symbolize the spirit of a loved one or ancestor here in our world.
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art has more information about the exhibit and dives into the history of the tradition as well.
Alyssa Dumire, Education Director for the museum, said it’s important to highlight how other cultures view and celebrate this time of year because it allows us to connect with cultures that we may think are separate from ours.
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is inviting the community to participate in the traditions as well. At the center of the exhibit is a large community ofrenda where you can bring a photograph of a loved one or a personal item for display. Or, you can write your loved one’s name on a paper butterfly and hang it above the altar.
The Día de los Muertos exhibit wraps up with a celebration at the museum on November 5.