Dia de los Muertos

During the month of October, middle school Spanish students from the surrounding area create decorative objects for a Dia de Los Muertos student ofrenda that is on view in The Rockwell’s Student Gallery throughout the month. The Museum’s Education Department has partnered with area schools and Spanish teachers in this special program since 2002. The program integrates cultural traditions with classroom education and creates an opportunity for students to connect an artistic experience with traditional learning.

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The month culminates in The Rockwell’s annual Dia de Los Muertos Celebration, an afternoon that is open to the public to decorate sugar skulls, make paper flowers, try traditional foods, and learn about this special Mexican holiday. Rockwell Events Calendar

Schedule your tour for Middle School Spanish students

About Dia de los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos is a festival of “welcome” for the souls of the dead. The celebration is prepared and enjoyed by the living and honors those who have passed. The customs surrounding this celebration are based on ancient traditions traced to the Aztec civilization in Mexico. The belief is that the souls of the deceased return each year to enjoy, for a few brief hours, the pleasures they once knew in life. Today, this celebration combines Native American and European customs and is primarily practiced among Hispanic, Mestizo and indigenous peoples from the American Southwest to South America.


This project is made possible in part by support from Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc. and The Hilliard Foundation.


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