La Ofrenda – Dia de los Muertos – Sherman Library and Gardens

La Ofrenda – Dia de los Muertos

October 1 – November 2, 2022

The Day of the Dead is a time for remembrance, family, food and flowers. On the first two days of November spirits of loved ones can visit the living.  Great care is taken to guide the spirits into homes and to offer food and drink for their long journey. 

La Ofrenda, the offering, is an extraordinary display of candles, favorite foods, and drinks of people who have passed on. The altar serves as a celebration of the life of those who have passed away and traditionally includes elements such as marigolds, brightly colored sugar skulls, papel picado and photographs of the departed.

Tagetes lucida, the most iconic flower of Dia de los Muertos, is also known as Flor de Muerto, Cempasúchil  or Mexican marigold. 

The Día de los Muertos holiday originated in Aztec culture before Spanish colonizers and the Roman Catholic Church arrived. Today, Día de los Muertos is celebrated by Mexican Catholics and many others in Mexico and the United States. The practice has enjoyed a resurgence in Southern California since the 1970s, when the artist group Self Help Graphics & Art organized a public celebration in Los Angeles. In 2017, the film “Coco” helped introduce a new generation to its tenets and symbolism.

This year Sherman Horticulturist Tim Chadd has created Sherman’s Ofrenda with guidance from Genevieve Barrios Southgate from the Bowers Museum.

Please feel free to add a photo of your loved one to our ofrenda  

Family Workshop: Decorating Sugar Skulls

Saturday, October 29 @ 2 – 3:15 pm
$25 Member / $30 Non-Member
Ages 5 and up

Let’s celebrate Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead! During this fun family workshop we will be learning to decorate sugar skulls or calaveras de azucar. These traditional decorations are an important part of a traditional Day of the Dead Altar or ofrenda and you will see them featured in the Sherman altar in the garden.

Join Genevieve Barrios Southgate, Director of Community Programs at the Bowers Museum for this relaxed class in our outdoor classroom and learn how sugar skulls feature in traditional celebrations.

Pre-registration required.