MILWAUKEE — Day of the Dead is celebrated all across the country on Nov. 1 and 2.

What You Need To Know

  • The holiday is usually recognized by people of Mexican heritage

  • It’s believed that family members leave heaven on November 1st and 2nd to join their loved ones for the celebrations on earth

  • Families honor their loved ones by building an altar or "ofrenda" in their honor

It’s usually recognized by people of Mexican heritage and it's a time for families to honor their loved ones who have passed away. 

In Milwaukee, Mexican Fiesta’s Flores Hall was transformed into a vibrant space showcasing the holiday.

Board member Tamara Olivas said this altar is the biggest in the state, welcoming people from all over Wisconsin to remember their loved ones. 

(Spectrum News 1/Katarina Velazquez)

“We really give families the opportunity to understand the meaning behind the celebration,” said Olivas. “The celebration is not just about colors or sadness like we’d typically consider, but it’s really a celebration of life.” 

The days pays tribute to the afterlife. It’s believed that family members leave heaven on Nov. 1 or 2 to join their loved ones for the celebrations on earth. 

“Typically you will set up an altar, and the reason why we do this is because these are the days we’ve assigned to be in connection with a loved one,” she said.  

Araceli Chavez was visiting the exhibit with her family. Chavez said this is an important part of her culture. it’s a piece she wants to pass down to her own daughters. 

“Para me es importante porque es la cultura que traigo de Mexico,” said Chavez. 

(For me, this is important because it’s a part of the culture I bring from Mexico” said Chavez.) 

(Spectrum News 1/Katarina Velazquez)

Chavez said exhibits like this give her an opportunity to remember people like her father, but also gives the younger generation a chance to participate in these cultural practices. 

In addition to the exhibit which is open to the public, their celebrations include a candlelight ceremony, concert, cultural food, dance and more. 

“This year in particular, we’re really bringing it up and celebrating through an interactive experience,” said Olivas. “It's a theatrical journey that's going to take you through what Day of the Dead is.” 

(Spectrum News 1/Katarina Velazquez)

From the rich colors to the photos and memories, families are uniting once again, bringing joy at a time they say they need it most. 

Celebrations are taking place at Flores Hall located at 2997 S. 20th St. It’s free and open to the public until 10 p.m. Thursday.

For more information, click here.