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Celebrate Día de Muertos with the Des Moines Public Library

Día de Muertos ofrenda

October 26, 2022

Día de Muertos is celebrated each year on Nov. 1-2. From Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, a large-scale community ofrenda created in partnership with Latinx Immigrants of Iowa will be on display in the gateway at Central Library. The altar of the dead, or ofrenda, is one of the most important traditions in Mexico, as well as one of the oldest and most important cultural expressions among the country's indigenous groups. Dia de Muertos

About Día de Muertos

What is a Día de Muertos Ofrenda?

The altar, or ofrenda, is an offering made in honor of the dead and is a legacy is kept alive today. The tradition of setting the altar has to do with the belief that during the Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 1 and 2 the souls of the dead have permission to return to the world of the living. In this context, the offering is the place where they go to eat, drink, rest and coexist with their relatives and loved ones. 

Why build the Día de Muertos Ofrenda at Central Library?

“We don’t want this tradition to die. We want the next generation to know about Día de Muertos, what an ofrenda is, and to continue the tradition,” said Jose Alvardo Director of Latinx Immigrants of Iowa. “We [also] want to share Day of the Dead with people in Iowa so that they feel comfortable practicing the traditions, to feel comfortable knowing that it’s something that isn’t only for Latinx people.”

The creation of the ofrenda is a group effort. Members of the community can visit Central Library at any time to make paper flowers in memory of loved ones to contribute to the alter.

Celebrate Día de Muertos with DMPL and Latinx Immigrants of Iowa:
Central Library
Wednesday, November 2, 4-7 p.m.

Dia de Muertos Des Moines Public LibraryCelebrate the Día de Muertos with the Des Moines Public Library and Latinx Immigrants of Iowa at Central Library. See the ofrenda and the Catrina created by Latinx Immigrants of Iowa in partnership with DMPL. Try traditional bread (pan de muerto) and hot chocolate Watch the movie Coco in English with Spanish subtitles at 4 p.m. and in Spanish with English subtitles at 5:30 p.m.

Take part in a Catrina costume contest as a part of the Día de Muertos celebration throughout the evening. Judging will take place around 7 p.m. The Latinx Immigrants of Iowa staff and volunteers want to invite everyone no matter if you are Latinx or not to show up in your best Catrina costume, and to participate in the Día de Muertos festivities.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Kelly Marble

Kelly Marble is an avid reader and the Digital Marketing Specialist at the Des Moines Public Library.