A Mexican holiday dating back hundreds of years, Día de los Muertos originated with the Mexica (popularly known as the Aztecs). Before Spanish colonization, the celebration took place during the summer. Later it was moved to autumn in order to coincide with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day.
The modern iteration of the Día de los Muertos includes three days representing three related, but separate, ideologies — chock full of inspiring traditions that bring both closure as well as the feeling of time spent with a loved one who has passed. The celebrations are bright and elaborate, and they include the building of ofrendas (private altars) in celebration of the departed; honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds (the flower of the dead), and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed; and bringing gifts and belongings to graves. Other traditions include muertos (the bread of the dead); cardboard skeletons; tissue paper garlands; fruit and nuts; incense; and other traditional foods and decorations. The holiday is now celebrated around the world, and each culture brings their own unique twist to it.
The three days celebrate those who came before us and who have passed on. Death is an integral part of life, and one that we all experience, and Día De Los Muertos celebrations bring comfort and understanding instead of fear. During the end of October into early November, gatherings and parades are held throughout the state. Whether you celebrate every year or you’re simply checking it out for the first time, these community celebrations welcome you with open arms as you honor your own loved ones.
The Days of the Dead:
- October 31st — All Hallows Eve, Halloween
- November 1st — Día de los Inocentes, All Saints’ Day
- November 2nd — the Day of the Dead, All Souls’ Day
Day of the Dead & Halloween Events
Día de los Muertos in Santa Fe
OCTOBER 27 & 28, 2023
Bienvenidos to a new tradition in the Santa Fe holiday calendar! A Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. Said to have originated in Mexico, Día de Muertos represents a time to honor and reconnect with the dead in a uniquely beautiful and meaningful manner. Join us on the Santa Fe Plaza on both Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28.
Día de los Muertos in Mesilla
Expect lots of music, folklorico dancing, food, and altars constructed for dearly departed family members. This community event is free to the public and held on the historic Mesilla plaza.
Halloween & Día de los Muertos Celebrations in Albuquerque
In Albuquerque, Halloween & Día de los Muertos celebrations take place over several weeks in October and November, though the holiday is traditionally celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. Here are several upcoming events in the Albuquerque area:
Taos Halloween Community Event
On Tuesday, October 31, 2023, from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM, the ghoulish fun will be spilled out from the Taos Plaza over to Teresina Lane, to Juan Largo Lane, slithering its way to the John Dunn Shops and Bent Street. The event will provide the children of Taos with a fun, safe, and supervised Halloween Event.
Los Alamos Halloweekend
Oct 27 - 29 2023, features a variety of festive and spooky holiday events for the entire family.
The primary event during the weekend is Trick–or–Treat on MainStreet, which will haunt downtown Los Alamos again on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 from 4-6 p.m. Part of Central Avenue closes to auto traffic and becomes a safe pedestrian area where local businesses and organizations distribute candy to costumed families. While businesses in the downtown area open their doors to the public, this is also an opportunity for businesses and organizations that are not located in the downtown area to be involved. The weekend’s festivities attract thousands of people.