The Culmore community celebrated the Day of the Dead Nov. 1 with an altar, lights, food, and decorations with a skeleton motif. The Day of the Dead is when Mexicans and Latin Americans remember, pray for, and connect with the spirit of loved ones who have died.
The celebration, in the parking lot on Glen Carlyn Drive in Bailey’s Crossroads, incorporated Day of the Dead traditions from several Latin American countries. There were special round loaves of bread like those used in Mexico, a tablecloth from Guatemala, and decorations and bread in human shapes from Bolivia. It was organized by the Culmore Neighbors Association with support from the Legal Aid Justice Center.
Rufina Juarez, originally from Guatemela, said people back home decorate Day of the Dead altars with candles, paper flowers, and butterflies. Because butterflies migrate, she says, they symbolize the spirit world and souls coming back from the dead.
Ramona Villalta, who brought a cooler full of tamales to the celebration, said her Dead of the Dead traditions from Honduras include the cross symbol, as well as altars with paper flowers.