Seattle Obscura Society: Dia de los Muertos - Living with the Dead

The Day of the Dead is a unique Indo-Hispanic holiday that preserves and encourages the remembrance of the people who passed before us—those who gave us life, knowledge and joy—creating a continuum in the cycle of life and death. Besides the reverence and honor paid to the ancestors, the use of multiple forms of folk art demonstrate that even though death is imminent, she should not be feared.

In this 2-hour event, you’ll experience an up-close look at a community ofrenda, or altar, and learn about the levels of symbolism embedded within the structure and cosmology of these personal shrines to the dead. You’ll decorate a sugar skull and get to experience the act of making a ritual offering. From exploring the food and gastronomy associated with The Day of the Dead to depictions of skeletons and other iconography, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of the history and evolution of The Day of the Dead as both a personal ritual and public festival.

Raúl Sánchez has built an altar every year for the past six years for the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s celebration of Dia de los Muertos. He is a poet and translator who conducts workshops on The Day of the Dead for communities that have included Mighty Tieton. He is also a poet and the author of All Our Brown Skinned Angels from MoonPath Press.


Participants may bring photographs of loved ones, personal artifacts, and objects you wish to leave at the Phinney Neigborhood Association’s community altar (which may be reclaimed at a later date).
There will be a small $10 donation made payable to Raul Sanchez by cash or check for a materials fee.

Guests will be provided with take-home instructions to build a personal altar.
This workshop is appropriate for 13+.

Please contact Shin Yu Pai at

Advance ticket sales only. All sales are final.
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