So you saw Coco; now what? Students, faculty, and the BYU community are invited to participate in our Día de los Muertos celebration to learn the cultural and spiritual significance of the holiday.
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday blending Mesoamerican and Catholic European traditions to commemorate loved ones who have passed away. To honor these ancestors, an altar or ofrenda is built to offer safe passage to the souls of those who have passed to visit once a year. Food offerings, sweets, beverages, flowers, toys (for children), and holy symbols are placed on the altar, along with photos of loved ones, to invite the spirits to join us once again for a happy celebration.
The most recognized and ornate Día de los Muertos traditions are found in Mexico. Recently, it has become increasingly popular among Latino communities worldwide, especially in the United States. Learn about the history of Día de los Muertos at BYU here.
Various BYU departments and institutions will be participating across campus. Visit each one to collect a different sticker at each that represents a symbol of the holiday. All events are free to the campus community.
Día de los Muertos Kickoff
21 October | 3–6 PM | WSC Garden Court
Kick off the holiday with an event including cultural performances from several groups. Ofrendas will be on display in the Garden Court starting at 10 AM.
Family History Library
21 October–2 November | Harold B. Lee Library
A variety of ofrendas will be displayed around the library. Feel free to print a picture of an ancestor/family member you would like to honor to add to an ofrenda.
Office of Belonging
21 October–4 November | WSC 2400
Visit our ofrenda and, if you'd like, add a picture in memory of one of your own deceased family members.
25 October | 11:15 AM–2 PM | WSC 2400
Come paint your own sugar skull and add it to the ofrenda. Pan de muertos will be given to the first 500 visitors!
26 October | 12–3 PM | WSC 2400
Come by to enjoy churros and family history with the help of the Family History Library. Churros will be given to the first 1000 visitors!
Family History Club
26 October–2 November | Family History Center, JFSB
The Family History Club is presenting an ofrenda, titled "Gone, But Not Forgotten," honoring the recently deceased family members and friends of BYU students along with their testimonies regarding eternal families. One special individual being honored is Dr. George Ryskamp, a long-time, influential BYU professor.
Family History Club Movie Night: Disney’s Coco
25 October | 6:30–9 PM | JFSB B002 Auditorium | Popcorn provided
31 October–4 November | HRCB lobby
The Kennedy Center ofrenda represents a faculty, student, and Kennedy Center team joint effort. Feel free to bring photos of your passed loved ones and anything else you would like to place on the ofrenda. All items will be returned after the event. We have a limited supply of calavera pins for your backpack (available in 237 HRCB)! Follow @byukennedycenter on Instagram to learn more of the history and symbols of the holiday. Contact Aaron Rose for more information.
Student Connection & Leadership Center
31 October | 11 AM-2 PM | Brigham Square
Come enjoy a treat with BYUSA Activities and leave a note for a loved on that has passed on.
Center for Language Studies
1–2 November | 10 AM–3 PM | 3086 JFSB
Stop by the Center for Language Studies to see the Dia de Los Muertos display, grab a treat, and bring a photo or leave a note to celebrate a family member or friend who is in the Spirit World.
Education in Zion Gallery
1–2 November | 10 AM–5 PM (1 Nov) & 10 AM–9 PM (2 Nov) | Education in Zion Gallery, JFSB
The Education in Zion gallery will have ofrendas on display during gallery hours on 1 & 2 November.
1–2 November | Harold B. Lee Library (Main Floor)
A large ofrenda will be on display, with tapetes, other cultural items, and educational and photo opportunities. Additional ofrendas can be found at the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Science Help Desks.
College of Humanities/Department of Spanish & Portuguese
1 November | 6–7 PM | B190 JFSB
The Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the College of Humanities will have musical performances on 1 November:
- Bailando con el Corazón (Director: Dulce Benjamín)
- Los Reyes Del Bolero
- Mariachi los Pumas
Museum of Peoples and Cultures
1 November | 7–9 PM | 2201 N. Canyon Road
Join us for a fun evening, featuring BYU Mariachi Los Pumas Band, face painting, games, crafts, and so much more!