LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Day of the Dead, or El Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion.
The Springs Preserve will host its 12th annual Dia de los Muertos Festival and Isaias Urrabazo, who is a local artist created a beautiful altar at this event to help guide his mother’s spirit back home.
“We are celebrating life here, we are not celebrating death, we are celebrating life and we are waiting for our loved ones to return,” Urrabazo said.
His mother passed away last year because of complications related to COVID-19, but on this Day of the Dead celebration, he can’t wait to welcome her home.
“Really this is her legacy this is the beauty that she left her children, seven of us, she partook in creating this offrenda with us the four years that we did it here,” Urrabazo said.
Each year Urrabazo and his family celebrate this Mexican holiday, but this year it is bringing together his whole family to celebrate their mother.
“Losing a parent from COVID and also having brothers and sisters that were affected by COVID, I am so glad that even though we lost our mom I am glad my brothers and sisters are here to create something so beautiful.”
Urrabazo says during this time the gates of heaven are opened, allowing spirits to return to their families for a brief reunion, but during this health crisis, he says it will be very challenging for hundreds of families like his.
“We have lost so many people this past year and so many people are still grieving and, in that grief, there is beauty here,” explained Urrabazo.
Urrabazo and his family built an altar with a cathedral theme, filled with brightly colored flowers, and things that reminded them of their loved ones. At the festival there are more than 20 altars, many leave their past relatives’ favorite foods and other offerings for them to enjoy.
“How beautiful of a celebration this is to think my loved one is coming back for this one beautiful day we should deck out the place as beautiful as we can for their homecoming,” Urrabazo said.