Dia de los Muertos Altars in Tepic, Nayarit 2013 / Tribute to Franciscan Fray Pascual Duran Rosales

In Mexico, there is a holiday for the dead called “Dia de los Muertos” or Day of the Dead, which is held every year in the month of November. The first day of November is the day we celebrate those who died as children (Day of the Little Angels/All Saint’s Day), and the second day of November is for the adults (All Souls’ Day).

Families make altars in honor of a family member. Often times, public institutions like schools, universities and government offices create altars in honor of important public figures who have outstanding character or have dedicated their life to benefiting society.


We also make small rhyming verses, a sort of joke to the deceased.

The main elements that must not be missed are the water, earth and salt. The altars are constructed in three or seven levels. On one side, an article of clothing from the deceased is placed and in the center of the first level is a photograph, a path to earth, incense, colored paper cut to symbolize life and death, chocolate skulls that represent the family of the deceased, candles, marigolds, and we also place dishes of their favorite food that the deceased enjoyed in life, a cross of ashes, paper flowers, a glass of water, fruit, bread, corn, pumpkin seeds, all of this is the offering, and music. The colors that are used are purple, orange and black.

Creativity is present in these altars and contests are often held. These photos were taken at the altars at the Instituto de Estudios del Rey Nayar (Institute of Studies of King Nayar) in the city of Tepic, Nayarit. I hope you enjoy it.

I invite you to enjoy and learn about our traditions.


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Fray Pascual Rosales Durán

In Jesús María, El Nayar who for more than 40 years was in the boarding school of Mision del Nayar in the Sierra of Nayarit.

Rosales Duran at 89 years old died because of 2 heart attacks caused by his age, the father had several heart problems even pneumonia, and also he had to use a pacemaker that was Sister Sonia Cortés said.

The Franciscan Father at the age of 40 years old left everything to venture into the dangerous mission of improving the life conditions of the people in The Sierra del Nayar, only with his faith as a weapon; he arrived into an unknown land where a priest was murdered in 1624.

In so little time he earned the trust of the local people, he restored the old Church and he founded the Mision of Nayar, a kind of refuge where kids of the different etnies, Huichol, Cora Mexicaneros and Tepehuanos will receive certified education, encouraging the rescue of their own culture and traditions.

This great man dedicated his life in doing the good to the neighbor, getting out of poverty the native child and giving them food and lodging for a better future.


These photos are from the Day of the Dead Tribute to Franciscan Fray Pascual Duran Rosales by the Instituto de Estudios del Rey Nayar

About The Author: Lic. Jesus Carranza Diaz is a native of Los Ayala in the municipality of Compostela. He is a lawyer, a professor at the Instituto de Estudios del Rey Nayar in the city of Tepic, Nayarit and a writer who has three published works to his credit, including one referring to the muse (Albina Moon) that inspired “The Sound of the Black Woman”, a popular song which identifies our country in the world and that was created by Nayaritas musicians, it began as a journalistic report. His books include “Tepic Through its Ejido,” “Tepic Through its History” and “Playa Los Ayala: Memorias de mi Pueblo” which is in its fourth release. Jesus has completed a series of investigations that will more than likely be issued soon to continue his prolific writing career.

Undoubtedly Jesus is a lover of his land and its customs and traditions, and he shares his knowledge about the State of Nayarit in his new column entitled “Viva Nayarit” on Jaltemba Bay Life.

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