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South Omaha Library honors Dia de Los Muertos tradition

Posted at 7:01 PM, Nov 01, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Latin American tradition is growing in South Omaha. The south branch of the Public Library in Omaha has put out children’s books and an altar to remember the passing of loved ones.

The altar also known as ‘ofrenda’ in Spanish is decorated with golden marigolds, candles, sugar skulls, and bread. Each component holds meaning; a soul can be attracted to the scent of Marigolds and delicious food. The skulls seen on the table are made of sugar to represent ‘the sweetness of life.’

While it’s the first year the branch made its ofrenda a community event, the staff has put together other altars to commemorate the passing of their own loved ones and even pets.

Branch Manager Marvel Maring said this change is to promote community engagement and keep traditions alive.

“I know other folks from this tradition who create ofrendas in their home… I think it’s nice to see it in the public library where we're sort of honoring this tradition and reinforcing why it’s important,” said Maring. She also added this tradition was made to recognize the joy felt in the cycle of life.

The Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, but the library is keeping its altar up until Monday, Nov. 6. Community members are welcome to add mementos or photographs to it until then.

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