The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is on November 1 and 2. Originating in Mexico, the celebration is observed in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere.
Día de los Muertos is not the same as Halloween. Many families celebrate both Halloween and Día de los Muertos.
Those who celebrate Día de los Muertos believe that at midnight on October 31, the souls of all deceased children come down from heaven and reunite with their families on November 1 (All Saints’ Day), and the souls of deceased adults come visit on November 2 (All Souls Day).
During the celebration, families make colorful altars in their homes in honor of their deceased loved ones. Altars are decorated with the four elements of nature: water, wind, fire (candles), and earth (flowers). Marigold is the traditional flower to honor the dead. It is yellow like the sun and represents life and hope.
Spending the night inside the cemetery, picnicking next to a dead family member’s grave, telling stories, and listening to music is all part of the celebration.
Celebrating Día de los Muertos
Like any special occasion in Mexico, food plays a vital role. The Día de los Muertos traditional meal often includes Mexican favorites, such as tamales, but what most people look forward to during the season are the desserts. Pan de muerto, which translates as “bread of the dead,” is one of the popular holiday treats.
Masks, costumes, face paint, skulls, and skeletons are often part of the festivities. Handmade sugar skulls are an iconic part of the holiday.
This is a joyous holiday, not one of mourning. Many believe their deceased love ones are laughing along with them. It’s also meant to reflect on the lives of those who’ve passed on, and celebrate them.
El Día de los Muertos
Day of the Dead Community event at Greenlawn Cemetery
Saturday, October 7, 2023 from 10 am – 6:30 pm
Greenlawn Cemetery hosts Latino Arts for the Humanities Day of the Dead Celebration. Free and open to the public, displays, cultural performers, vendors, food, music, and of course a great opportunity to learn about how Latin American cultures celebrate the lives of passed loved ones
Read more about the event and see schedule here.
Dia de los Muertos at the Columbus Museum of Art
(TBA for 2023)
Columbus Museum of Art hosts multiple Dia de los Muertos events, including a community alter
Community Ofrenda at CMA
October 25 – November 6
An ofrenda is an altar, built to honor lost loved ones. Visitors may add a memento, photo, or word to remember and celebrate someone special from their lives.
The ofrenda was created by Renee Zamora, a Columbus artist who works with printmaking, mixed media and found objects. Artist Renee Zamora shares her story and one of her favorite parts about Dia de los Muertos, the ofrenda.
Admission is free to visit the Ofrenda. Read more, and build your own.
Community Conversation on Grief at CMA
Saturday October 27 at 6:00 pm: Join CMA and community partners in an honest and meaningful conversation about grief, loss, healing, and the origins of Día de los Muertos. This event is free and open to the public; registration requested.
Celebrate Día de los Muertos at CMA
November 5 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Celebrate and learn about the rich history of Día de los Muertos with activations by artists including a community ofrenda, art-activities, vendors, tarot, dancing and live music from Al Son del Iya, craft cocktails & tasty bites available from Casa Mezcal Mexican Grill.
Cost of the program is $10 for nonmembers, $5 for members, children 3 and under are free. Details and registration on the Columbus Museum of Art website.
Día de los Muertos at ROY G BIV
October 14–November 4
Visit ROY G BIV to experience the ofrenda along with the work of artists creating in honor of those we have lost to violence. Work by Armando Román; Ryan Hudson; Glass Axis; Cindy France; Cat Ramos; Romina Barrera; Niko; SilverStone Artistry and Lauren Brooks will be on view. Details.
Visit Grove City presents, Fall Fridays – Día De Los Muertos
October 28, 2022 from 10 am – 8 pm.
Each Friday in October will have a different theme that will include dressing up, crafts, and highlighting local vendors. The Visitor Center’s hours are 10am-8pm on Friday, but our vendors will be present in the evenings.
This week, they are featuring 3 Brothers Diner. There will be some food, crafts, and more to celebrate the Día De Los Muertos -Day of the Dead. Details here.
Dia de Los Muertos with the Columbus Blue Jackets!
Friday, October 28, 2022 at 7 pm
The first 200 people at the game will receive an exclusive gift as part of the celebration vs. the Boston Bruins!
There is special savings on Blue Jackets tickets, and music from Los Borirengues Del Swing, performing pregame on the main concourse starting at 6pm. Visit www.bluejackets.com/diadelosmuertos to get your tickets!
Dia De Los Muertos at Beeline – Easton Town Center
Saturday, October 29, 2022, starting at 9 pm. Beeline at Easton Town Center Celebrates Day of the Dead with cocktails, music, flowers, and more! This is a joyful time to welcome back the souls of the deceased.
For this reunion, Beeline is offering $10 Witch’s Brew Margaritas and Blood Shot Martinis!
Dia De Los Muertos at El Segundo
November 1, 2022
Visit El Segundo for a happy hour from 4-6PM, $4 tacos, and complimentary face painting for kids from 4:30-7:30PM! Details.
More Day of the Dead events will be added as they are announced.
Events below are from 2021; tba for 2022
Join us for a multi-day celebration of Día de los Muertos! Events are family-friendly.
TBA from 10:30am – 2:30pm: Celebrate in the atrium of Hagerty Hall on Ohio State’s campus with hot chocolate, sugar skulls, the Arbol de Deseos (Tree of Life), an interactive ofrenda, pan de muerto, and an honoring of our ancestors.