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All about our Día de los Muertos event at CuriOdyssey in San Mateo, California!

Featuring guests from The Mexican Museum, local artisan David Manzanares Tafolla and Madd Mex Food Truck throughout the night. Bonus guest appearance from Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

More memories about the animals will be released in a blog which will be linked here.

Our 2019 celebration includes:

  • Zoo Ofrenda, honoring animals from CuriOdyssey’s long history in the community
  • Dia de los Muertos Art from The Mexican Museum
  • Tissue flower making with The Mexican Museum
  • Community Art Station
  • Artisan Craft Booth by David Manzanares Tafolla
  • Festive Music, Live Band
  • Madd Mex Food Truck
  • Potted flower seed station to support local Monarch migration
  • Themed drinks at our cash bar
  • Dancing area equipped with cocktail tables
  • Themed photo opportunities

Thank you for your curiosity about our celebration.

Event Activities/Cultural Significance Resources:

You may have noticed some of these symbols at our event.
Read on to learn more:

  • Zoo Ofrenda
    • Papel Picado
      • A wind element, can also announce the arrival of the dead.
    • Water Jug
      • A drink offered for the dead after making their journey.
    • Marigold Flowers
      • A colorful and fragrant flower said to attract the dead.
    • Painted Skulls
      • Celebrating the element of death, a part of life – festive and positive!
    • Leaves/Animal Kibble
      • Often a ‘favorite food’ of the dead is placed on the ofrenda – in this case our animals enjoy leaves (“browse”) and kibble.
    • Copal Incense
      • Copal incense is made of tree resin from a tree of the same name, used for many years in cleansing and ceremonies. It is also considered an element to guide good spirits and keep the not-so-good ones away.
    • Various Items
      • We adorn the ofrenda with items the animals enjoyed during their lives.
    • Candles
      • Candles represent the element fire; the lights help to welcome the spirits.
  • Tissue Flower Making/Marigold Flowers
    • Our tissue flowers represent Marigolds, a colorful and fragrant flower said to attract the dead.
  • Monarch Butterflies
    • We are planting milkweed seeds to support Monarch butterfly migration! Monarch often symbolize the spirits of the dead; Monarch migration happens around this time so they are often seen out and about.
  • Festive Music, Food & Cash Bar
    • Dia de los Muertos is a celebration in remembrance of those who are no longer with us. It is a celebration – food, music, dancing and drinks make the event that much more festive!

Learn More! Resources:

Many symbols above may come in different forms and hold different meanings for different groups. Luckily, resources to learn more can be found online and in real life in places like your local library or cultural center!

Special note: These symbols are through the lens of a Mexican-American, “actively, culturally practicing” individual and should not be considered an umbrella guide to Dia de los Muertos. As with all traditions, families have different ways of keeping the tradition alive which may be unique/non-traditional. Thank you!

Join the CuriOdyssey Community


1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401

[email protected]

CuriOdyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tax ID 94-1262434

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