Celebrating Día de los Muertos with friends: Unknown Mami

Día de los Muertos is this week and as a special treat, I’ve asked some of my friends to send me photos and descriptions of their altars to share here on The Other Side of The Tortilla to show the variety of ways that people celebrate this holiday.

Today, I’m sharing the altar of my friend C. from Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami's altar for Día de los Muertos 2012. It's the first time she's ever made one.PHOTO/COURTESY OF UNKNOWN MAMI

Where in Mexico are your family’s roots?
My family is from Mexicali.

Who does your altar honor?
My altar honors my daughters’ grandfather, two friends, my tía, my tío, two primos, and my nana (abuela).

Any special ofrendas or items on your altar?
There is cerveza for my tío (he wasn’t picky, so any will do), cards for solitaire for my nana, cologne for my daughters’ grandfather, mazapan and eyeliner (she was out of it the last time I saw her) for my tía, and flowers and candles for everyone.

Why did you make an altar for Día de los Muertos? How does it keep your connected to Mexican culture? And do you involve your kids to pass on the tradition?
This was my very first Día de los Muertos altar and it made me feel more connected to my culture and family because it brought back memories of my youth and it helped me bond with loved ones I’ve missed. It was a joy to remember them and share their stories with my daughters. My daughters are very young and never got a chance to meet any of the people we are honoring, but now they will hear about them every year.

Any other details you want to share about your altar?
It never occurred to me that I would have so much fun putting together an altar, that I would remember the idiosyncrasies and likes of my departed.

For more photos and a story about Unknown Mami’s altar for Día de los Muertos, click here.