The Hispanic custom El Día de los Muertos marks a social ritual of families remembering their dead and celebrating the cycle of life and death with friends and relatives. The autumn tradition usually features personalized altars made to commemorate the honorees.

 Here’s an overview of Day of the Dead activities organized by the Spanish section of the classical and modern languages department and by the Latin American and Latino studies program:

  • The South Fourth Street Day of the Dead Celebration is co-sponsored by the Latin American and Latino studies program, which will erect a storefront altar Oct. 25 ‒ Nov. 4 at Fourth and Chestnut streets with an “I Have a Dream” theme to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and several local civic leaders, including UofL professors.
  • Students also will volunteer during the family-oriented celebration Nov. 1 during the First Friday Trolley Hop. The 5:30 p.m. ‒ 9 p.m. event will be along South Fourth Street between Broadway and Muhammad Ali Boulevard; activities will include costume contests, music, dancing, puppets, face-painting, paper flower-crafting, refreshments and a candlelight march.
  • Spanish language students will display about 15 decorated altars Oct. 28 ‒ Nov. 4 in Ekstrom Library on Belknap Campus. As part of the exhibit, other student projects will represent traditional Day of the Dead elements such as giant kites, votive offerings and special bread.


Judy Hughes
Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.