A young figure climbs up a flight of steep stairs to a darkened ofrenda or alter, lit candle in hand. They adjust their skull mask, steady themselves, and light the humble candle on the table. Suddenly, the ofrenda comes alive with light, marigolds (cempasúchil), and music. An alebrijes takes flight and the bell rings for Día De Los Muertos, Mexico’s annual family holiday that reunites the living with memories of their dead loved ones.
“By the light of the altar,” writes Los Angeles-based creative studio We Are Royale in the caption for this 48-second animation, “we celebrate Día De Los Muertos.”
Related, via NPR, How to build the ofrenda:
“The first thing you will need is a table — any kind will do. The table is then draped with a decorative tablecloth. It is customary in Mexican culture to use a serape, which has its own distinct striped pattern. Ofrendas may also have several layers – the top layer represents heaven while the base represents earth. To achieve this, you can stack boxes underneath the tablecloth.
“Add marigolds. The bright color and strong scent of cempasúchil is believed to make it easier for deceased loved ones to find their way back to you.
“The light from candles is also an element that helps spirits return.
“Add your loved ones’ favorite foods to the altar as an offering.
“Decorate with things such as figurines and colorful skulls, which represent the cycle of life and death.
“Put up pictures!”
Watch these videos next:
• La Catrina introduces Día de los Muertos
• Dia de los Muertos, an animated journey to the land of the dead
• Duck, Death and the Tulip
• Delve into the relationship between flowers and humans: Story of Flowers 2
• Premier Automne by Je Regarde
• Way of Giants (Caminho dos Gigantes), a wordless animation about the circle of life
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