Día de los Muertos

Photo of Dia de los Muertos Skull


Celebrated from October 31 – November 2, el Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their relatives who have passed away. 

A blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion, and Spanish culture, October 31 is Halloween, November 1 is "Día de Todos los Santos - All Saints Day," and November 2 is "Día de los Fieles Difuntos - All Souls Day". On their respective days, it is believed that families can join deceased relatives and loved ones for 24-hours as the gates of the Land of the Dead are open.

Dating back around 3,000 years ago, the Aztecs and other Nahua people of central-Mexico held a cyclical view of the universe, and saw death as an integral, ever-present part of life. Upon dying, a person was believed to travel to the Land of the Dead and after completing nine challenges, a journey of about 7 years, the soul would reach their final resting place. Traditionally held in August, family members provided food, water, and tools to help their loved ones on their journeys, which carried over to the October/November contemporary celebration.

Learn More

A Celebration of Life: El Dia de los Muertos

Understanding Ofrendas: Day of the Dead

Día De Muertos: Una Celebración De Vida

Corona, Ofrenda Box, and Face Painting Workshop

Las Ofrendas
tk tunchez, Las Ofrendas

tk tunchez, Las Ofrendas

Corona, Ofrenda Box, and Face Painting Workshop by Las Ofrendas

Tuesday, November 1, 2022
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Unity Lounge, LBJSC Suite 2-20.0
Second floor, across from University Bookstore
Inclusive Excellence - Student Connections and Belonging

Join us for workshop on honoring our loved ones, heritage, healing, and joy. This will be a maker-space workshop that includes corona de flores (flower crown), mini altar y ofrenda boxes, and calavera (skull) face painting. All materials and supplies provided. Light lunch provided.

Facilitated by tk tunchez, owner/creative of Las Ofrendas (a BIPOC/queer owned-business).
For more about Las Ofrendas, visit: Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook

Learn more about tk tunchez

About tk tunchez

“I walk in the world with multiple layers to myself — I’m queer, I’m Latina, I’m a mother, I’m an Indigenous person. All of the work I do with Las Ofrendas and Frida Friday has always been about, ‘How do we allow people to tap into their internal abundance?’” 

tk tunchez, Las Ofrendas

Video courtesy of Square: The “Only In” series will continue to explore other cultures, cities, and businesses and tell the stories of the people behind them.

tk tunchez’s Las Ofrendas pieces invite Austin’s queer and BIPOC communities to take up space. “Only In Austin” highlights five queer-owned businesses to explore the intersection of identity, community, and entrepreneurship. “Here To Stay” celebrates these business owners who create safe spaces and are mainstays of Austin’s inclusive culture.

Honor the Dead - Virtual Altar

As we enter October, it is time to honor those who have gone before us. You are invited to submit photos of your family member, friend, and/or loved one to be displayed on our virtual altar during Día de los Muertos. 

View the Fall 2022 Virtual Altar y Ofrenda here

Make, host, and share an Altar y Ofrendas

Bringing Home the Dead

Bringing Home the Dead

By Sandy Coronilla and Molly Zisk

Host one in your front office space

We encourage Texas State University department, offices, units, and organizations at the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses to make, host, and share their own altares y ofrendas. Below is information to learn more about the history and origins of this significant cultural tradition including altar, ofrendas, and paying respect to our passed loved ones. Use the link below to share a picture of your altar y ofrendas.

Honoring Death:

Families honor the memory of their deceased loved ones by making alters and decorating graves. Preparation beginning weeks in advance. Altars are often made in homes and demonstrate the love and dedication of those left behind toward those who have passed. 

Mesoamerican Roots:

Day of the Dead's pre-Columbian roots involve many Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztecs, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, and Tepaneca. They each commemorated the dead at specific times based on the age of the person who passed and the manner in which the person died.  It's no surprise that these indigenous people included skull iconography as an element of Day of the Dead. Spanish colonists viewed the celebration of death as a dangerous precursor of civil disorder, however, and successfully integrated the Christian All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. This is why crosses and images of the Virgin Mary are part of today's celebrations. 

Flower of the Dead:

Cempasuchil, or marigolds, have a strong sent that is said to attract the spirit of the dead. Petals are used to make a pathway leading toward the altar that is also heavily adorned with the flower. Loved ones also use cempasuchil to decorate the graves of their dearly departed. 

Altares on the TXST Campus

Altar by Rosa Linda Carranza

Honoring the Dead

Rosa Linda Carranza, Senior Administrative Assistant, Texas State University System, Office of General Counsel

Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta

Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
LBJ Student Center Room 3-9.1

Join the Hispanic Student Association (HSA) in collaboration with the Hispanic Policy Network (HPN) and Project Maestros as we come together in a Dia de los Muertos celebration. Build your own DIY Altar in remembrance of loved ones who have passed. Crafting supplies and light refreshments will be provided. Don't forget to bring pictures of your loved ones to add to your altares!

Sponsored by:
Hispanic Student Association, Hispanic Policy Network, and Project Maestros

Día de Los Muertos & Haunt the Halls

Thursday, October 27, 2022
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Chautauqua / Gaillardia Hall Courtyard

302 Student Center Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666

Join us for a day to gather, remember, and celebrate our loved ones. The event will include fiesta with mariachi, food truck, ofrendas, trick-or-treating, haunted house, and other games.

Texas State University ID Card Required to enter.

Sponsored by:
Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHRL)

El Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos: Noche de Gala

Saturday, October 29, 2022
6:00 PM
San Marcos Conference Center
1001 E. McCarty Lane, San Marcos, Texas
Tickets: $100.00
Themed attire / Black Tie optional

The mission of Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos (Centro) is to serve as a community beacon for the preservation, development, promotion, and celebration of the Hispanic arts, culture, heritage, and values.

For more information, contact El Centro:
Website: https://www.sanmarcoscentro.org/
Email: centro@sanmarcoscentro.org
Phone: 512.878.0640