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Cantigny Ofrenda Displays

Visitors Center, First Division Museum, and Allée
Now through November 2

What is an Ofrenda?


Visitors Center Gallery

Imagine if you could welcome home a friend or family member who is no longer with us. Would you plan to have a meal with them, maybe throw a party or even a parade? This is the idea behind the Mexican heritage celebration, Día de Muertos. During the first two days of November, families welcome home the spirits of their loved ones who have passed away.

In the days leading up, families build altars or ofrendas to help guide their ancestors back to the living world. The offerings symbolize the four elements of nature, with the smell of marigolds serving as a beacon for the friendly spirits.

Every ofrenda is personalized to the people being welcomed home. Photographs, personal items and food are placed on traditional ofrendas. One offering is a delicious, sweet bread called Pan de Muerto. While we cannot see our ancestors when they visit, it is believed they can still enjoy the offerings.

Ofrenda Locations


First Division Museum Lobby

Visitors Center
Open daily, 9am – 5pm

This ofrenda welcomes home family and friends of Cantigny Park who are no longer with us. Curated by staff at Cantigny, the McCormick Foundation, and KemperSports with images of their loved ones.

First Division Museum
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am – 5pm

Girl Scouts worked with museum staff to build this ofrenda to welcome home Mexican-American veterans who are no longer with us. This unique display is a part of our Community Connections exhibit, highlighting veterans from all service branches and “Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World”.

Allée
Accessible daily, 7am – Sunset

Pay your respects to Pedro Linares, originator of the alebrije art form, at this outdoor ofrenda located at the north end of the McCormick Allée.