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Gone but Not Forgotten: Participate in Our Community Dia de los Muertos Altar

Issaquah Highlands Dia de los Muertos

One of our favorite traditions in Issaquah Highlands is the annual Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration. Embracing the Mexican tradition of honoring loved ones who have passed in a festive, fun way, and sharing that with friends and neighbors fits the Highlands Council mission of building community.

This year, we will expand the community altar (ofrenda) to be available a full week before the community celebration on Friday, November 1. The ofrenda, which means “offering” in Spanish, is a significant part of any Dia de los Muertos celebration because it brings us closer to loved ones who have passed away. The altar is often made up of three levels: the top level represents where higher powers reside, the middle level represents the earth where we live, and the lower level represents the dead.

You are invited to stop by Blakely Hall during business hours from October 25 through November 1 to place a photo or memento on the Dia de los Muertos community altar. Everyone in the community, regardless of background, is welcome to honor a lost family member, friend, pet or even a historical figure who is important to you.

Join us on November 1 from 6:30-8:30pm as we come together as a community to remember our loved ones and celebrate el Dia de los Muertos with traditional games and activities, sugar skull crafts, traditional food for purchase from the Tacos el Güero food truck, and of course, a piñata for the kids!

Want to get more involved? Consider volunteering during the event, multiple shifts available! Great for teen community service hours. Learn more and sign up >

As published in October 2019 Connections >

Altar Details Key

  1. The color and aroma or orange marigolds lure souls to the earth.
  2. Photos and mementos remember loved ones who have passed away.
  3. Candles represent the element of fire, attracting spirits to the altar.
  4. Bread for the dead, known as “pan de muerto,” offers a sweet treat to the spirits.
  5. Paper banners, known as “papel picado,” represent the wind and fragility.
  6. Skulls, known as “calaveras,” are a reminder of life’s brevity.