Translated as The Day of the Dead, the holiday traditionally marks a social ritual of families remembering their dead and celebrating the cycle of life and death with relatives and friends. The event usually features personalized altars made to commemorate the honorees.

Throughout Louisville and southern Indiana, altars will be installed in museums, libraries, schools, agencies and businesses. They will be free for the public to visit, at least during part of the celebration. Downtown Louisville venues will be featured 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Nov. 5 during the First Friday Gallery Hop. Here’s an overview of various exhibits organized with help from Latin American and Latino studies and the Arts and Culture Partnerships Initiative and contests organized by the Spanish section of the classical and modern languages department:

  • UofL’s Ekstrom Library, Spanish language students compete in 10th annual altar contest in lobby; altar to assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador in the old auditorium (basement east wing) (Oct. 28–Nov. 3)

  • UofL’s Schneider Hall Gallery X, altar to men who died building Panama Canal (Nov. 2–14)

  • Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, altars to earthquake victims in Chile and Haiti, domestic violence victims and others (through Nov. 12)

  • 21c Museum Hotel, altar to the death of childhood (through Nov. 30)

  • Louisville Science Center, altar to honor astronomer Edwin Hubble (Oct. 24–Nov. 12)

  • Muhammad Ali Center, altar to domestic violence victims (Oct. 27–Nov. 12)

  • Archdiocese of Louisville, altars at Maloney, Flaget, Patterson Education and Catholic Enrichment centers and Chancery honoring military dead, victims of Haiti and Chile natural disasters, cancer victims, Mexican martyrs and deceased clergy and religious leaders (Oct. 26-Nov. 12)

  • Indiana University Southeast, Barr Gallery, altar to celebrate diverse cultures (Nov. 4)

  • Also, UofL’s Spanish section of classical and modern languages is co-sponsoring the third annual altar contest among Louisville businesses serving the Hispanic community. Businesses will display their altars Oct. 28–Nov. 3.