Day of the Dead main content.

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Part of Celebrate Culture!

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Immerse yourself in the traditions of Día de Muertos in this family-friendly, full-day festival featuring altars dedicated to extinct animal species, performances by Mexican folk musicians and dance troupes, hands-on artisanal and scientific workshops, and a craft marketplace. 

For the 21+ evening reception, click here for more information.



Festival Program

See below for more information on the day's festivities.



Mexican dance and music from Oaxaca and beyond. Presented by Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders.


  • Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcóatl en Ixachitlán
Traditional pre-Hispanic dance ceremony dedicated to Day of the Dead
  • Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
The traditional music and dance festival of Guelaguetza takes place in Oaxaca every year. Representative of specific groups, these colorful and festive choreographies are a celebration of indigenous identity. 
  • Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino
Join us for a classic set with New York’s Mariachi Tapatio.


Exploration Stations

Cultural and scientific activities for the whole family.


  • Masks and Trinkets
Design your own Día de Muertos mask, mini-altars, and other takeaways in this colorful activity zone for all ages.
  • Papel Picado
Learn the legendary artform of Papel Picado, cutting imagery into colorful paper banners to take with you.
  • Storytime with NYPL                                                         
Join our friends from the New York Public Library in their reading nook, designed to bring some of the vibrant stories around Día de Muertos, Mexican Culture, and Animal Conservation to our younger visitors.
  • Pan de muerto
Enrique Olvera of Cosme and Atla, presents the tradition of Pan de Muerto. Learn about the methods of manufacturing, the messages behind the intricate designs, and taste the authentic recipe of this traditional dessert.
  • Prehispanic Encounter
Learn about the Museum’s collection of Zapotec artifacts and traditional funerary urns, used to honor ancestors of the pre-columbine cultures that inhabited the State of Oaxaca and beyond.
  • The Science of Skulls
How do scientists use fossil skulls to piece together the human family tree? Examine fossil skull casts to learn about our extinct hominin relatives.
  • Center for Biodiversity
    and Conservation         
The CBC integrates the Museum's science, collections, and technology to combat real-orld conservation problems and solutions. Meet conservation scientists and learn how they—and you— can work to protecting our planet’s biodiversity.


Artisanal Demonstrations

Learn about the deep cultural roots of traditional Oaxacan craftsmanship.


  • Cocina Tradicional
Expert artisanal chef Celia Florían presents ingredients endemic to Oaxaca, and an insight into the state’s rich flavorful history.
  • Barro Negro
The art of black clay pottery as practiced by Barro Negro master Omar Fabian
  • Alebrijes and Papier-Mâchè
Colorful, whimsical creatures sculpted in a fragile, yet precise method. Led by artist Jacobo Ángeles.
  • Textile
Intricate Oaxacan weaving, passed on from generation to generation, presented here by la maestra Elsa Abigail Mendoza.


El Mercado

Over 30 artisans from Mexico and the U.S. present their wares at this all-day Mexican Marketplace.

The Museum’s Día de Muertos Festival is presented in collaboration with the Mexican State of Oaxaca, an invited cultural partner.

Support for Celebrate Culture! is provided, in part, by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.; the Sidney, Milton and Leoma Simon Foundation; and the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt.