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A Celebration of Life

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Dia de los Muertos is a vibrant, festive traditional celebration of remembrance in the cultures of Latino people around the world. It is a syncretic blend of Aztec traditions of remembering the dead and the Catholic tradition of celebration of All Saints Day brought by the Spanish conquistadors.


We invite all of our Valley's cultures to share their traditions in honoring the lives of those who have passed away. This includes relatives, friends, special heroes, and especially the Angelitos (the little children). Our goal is to provide a shared cultural experience for our community and to bring people to downtown Yakima.


The structure of the majority of the altars is created by stacking boxes in three tiers. The three tiers represent birth, life and afterlife. Altars can be made in many ways from traditional to modern design.


Click here to see charts and videos that describe a traditional altar.


If you, your family, or organization would like to build an altar in our Yakima Exhibit, download an application. 




In 2005, a group of community organizations including The Yakima Symphony, The Yakima-Morelia Sister City Association, For A Better Tomorrow, the Yakima Valley Museum and individual community leaders came together to bring the first Annual Dia de los Muertos exhibit to Yakima.

Yakima's first exhibit opened with 11 altars built by local community organizations. Several downtown businesses also participated by building altars. The exhibition was very well received, and the Yakima School District was contacted to have its students tour the exhibit. Starting in 2006, the Yakima Symphony brought a pianist from Morelia's 300 year old Conservatoria de las Rosas to perform in Yakima at The Seasons Performance Hall for a Special Noche De Muertos Concert.

Past Participants

  • St. Joseph/Marquette Middle School

  • YWCA

  • Catholic Family & Child Service Parents as Teachers Program

  • Yakima Symphony Orchestra

  • Yakima Police Athletic League

  • Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic

  • A.C. Davis High School Spanish Literature Class

  • Rick and Teri Sanchez

  • Terri Aguilera-Flemming

  • La Casa Hogar

  • Barrios Unidos

  • Yakima Valley Museum

  • Yakima-Morelia Sister City Association

  • Wags to Riches Animal Rescue

  • Heritage University

  • Filipino-American Community

  • Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Heath

  • YWCA

  • LaSalle High School

  • Mt. Adams School District

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