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Day of the Dead


Stop by a Mexican bakery, or pasteleria, near the end of October and amid the bright pink and yellow pastries, you'll find an array of creepy calaveras de azucar--sugar skulls. Though you could lop off a frontal lobe to sweeten your coffee, the sugar skulls are most often used to adorn Dia de los Muertos altars.

In Mexico, Day of the Dead is celebrated on Nov. 2. The holiday is more festive than mournful and offers an opportunity to celebrate memories of the deceased by throwing a fiesta and decking out their graves with flowers and food offerings, or ofrendas. Unlike Halloween, Day of the Dead is a chance to embrace the cycle of life instead of cramming an old pillowcase full of miniature processed sweets.

To celebrate Dia de los Muertos, the Idaho State Historical Museum and the Consulate of Mexico in Boise will present "Dia de los Muertos--Traditional and Contemporary Altars and Art." The exhibit opens on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the Idaho Historical Museum and features altars and art from 10 Latino artists alongside work from local school children.

Also on Tuesday, be sure to check out an accompanying traditional graveside ceremony from 5-7 p.m. at Pioneer Cemetery off Warm Springs Road.