How to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Birmingham

Dia de los Muertos Alabama
Celebrate those who have passed during Día de los Muertos. Photo via Día de los Muertos Alabama’s Facebook

Sugar skulls, skeletons, altars and more. Día de los Muertos is coming up and Birmingham is ready to celebrate. Read on to learn what this annual event is all about and how you can join in.

What is Día de los Muertos?

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death with family, friends and community typically celebrated annually November 1-2. Though it originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America.

How to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Birmingham

Birmingham, Día de los Muertos
The costumes are incredible. Photo via Día de los Muertos Alabama’s Facebook page

There are several ways to take part in the occasion this year in Birmingham, but the biggest celebration takes place in Pepper Place, Tuesday, November 2 through Friday, November 5. Hosted by Bare Hands, Inc., this is the event’s 19th year.

What does Día de los Muertos include? Here’s a look:

  • Individual altars, public altars + pet altars to pay respect to those who has passed away
  • Artist Mercado featuring local artists from the region
  • Food trucks with some of Birmingham’s most authentic Mexican vendors
  • Memorial roll call where names of the deceased are called out loud for a moment of respect
  • Corona/Modelo Beer Garden + Sol Y Luna’s Famous Margaritas made with Hornitos Tequila

What are altars all about?

Dia de los Muertos
Altars at the 2020 festival at Pepper Place in Birmingham. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Altars are a creative way to honor those who have passed away in the company of community.

The ancient belief is that souls of the deceased visit during Dia de los Muertos guided by familiar sights and fragrances of items decorating their alters and the sound of loved ones gathered. 

Altars often include:

  • Photos of departed + their favorite things like food, books, games, etc.
  • Colorful sugar skulls
  • Flowers like marigolds + coxcomb
  • Prayer + votive candles
  • Water + salt to revive the soul after its long journey to visit
  • And more

Día de los Muertos Event Details

What: Día de los Muertos hosted by Bare Hands, Inc., a nonprofit community that supports arts organizations in Birmingham.
When: Tuesday-Thursday, November 2-4 – 5-9PM | Friday, November 5 – 5-10PM
Where: Pepper Place, 2829 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205
Price: $10 (limited amount of tickets available each night) | Ages 6 + under – free
Tickets

More Ways to Celebrate

Dia de los Muertos Alabama
Día de los Muertos Behind the Mask at Rojo in Birmingham. Photo via Día de los Muertos Alabama’s Facebook

Behind the Mask

What: a Bare Hands, Inc. art exhibit featuring the masks of the 2021 Día de los Muertos festival. Each has is created by a local artist + is for sale. The show ends Thursday, Oct. 28, then masks are showcased at the festival in Pepper Place, Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 2-5. More info.
When: Now-October 28
Where: Rojo, 2921 Highland Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205
Price: Free

Day of the Dead Night of Painting

What: a night of painting at Painting with a Twist in Hoover creating two pieces of Day of the Dead artwork. Adults only (15+). Limited seating. BYOB (21+). More info.
When:
Friday, October 29 | 7-9PM
Where: Painting with a Twist, 701 Doug Baker Blvd, #106, Birmingham, AL 35242
Price: $37-$57
Register

Dead Sexy Night of Painting

What: a night of painting at Painting with a Twist in Hoover creating an awesome sugar skull. Adults only (15+). Limited seating. BYOB (21+). More info.
More info.
When: Friday, Oct. 29 | 7-9PM
Where: Painting with a Twist, 701 Doug Baker Blvd, #106, Birmingham, AL 35242
Price: $37-$57
Register

Day of the Dead Flower Crowns

What: a Day of the Dead celebration for 6th-12th graders to make epic flower crowns. All supplies provided. More info.
When:
Monday, November 1 | 4-5PM
Where: Homewood Public Library, 1721 Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209
Price: Free
Register

We’d want to see how you’re celebrating Día de los Muertos in Birmingham. Tag us in your photos on Facebook and Instagram.

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Patience Itson
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