National Museum of the American Indian

illumiNations: Día de los Muertos

October 30, 2020
Streaming Online on Facebook and YouTube

Celebrate Día de los Muertos Online with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

Monarch butterflies are everywhere in Día de los Muertos celebrations, from the holiday's traditional symbolism to presentations about tracking the butterflies' annual migration to Mexico and preserving their habitats. Learn about monarchs from cultural expert Tlisza Jaurique and Smithsonian scientific experts, and enjoy the music of GRAMMY-winning East L.A. band Quetzal.  

Hear from sculptor and maskmaker Zarco Guerrero about the role masks play in Día de los Muertos celebrations and tour his studio in Mesa, AZ. 

Visit the museum's Facebook page to see images of ofrendas from earlier Día de los Muertos festivals and to post messages in memory of your loved ones. 

Captioning will be provided for this event in English only. If there are any other accommodations you need, please email Two weeks advance notice is appreciated. 

Federal support for this program is provided by the Latino Initiative Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Friday, October 30, 2020
6:00 - 7:00 PM ET

Streaming online on YouTube and Facebook


This event is free and open to all ages.

Registration is recommended to receive the online event link in advance. 

Prepare to Celebrate Día de los Muertos at Home!

Make your own butterfly or skull paper mask to wear 
Creating and wearing masks has long been a part of Día de los Muertos celebrations. Download your own butterfly or skull paper mask to print, decorate, and wear at home!
Read about Día de los Muertos as a Family
Find a book from our recommended book list to learn more about Día de los Muertos with your young ones. We have book recommendations for newborns to12-year-olds.  

FAQs for illumiNations: Día de los Muertos

How can I watch this online event?
This event will be streamed live on the museum's YouTube and Facebook pages beginning at 6:00 PM ET on Friday, October 30. Registration is not required but it is encouraged. Those who register in advance will receive reminder emails about the event, including a link to watch the event on October 30.
Are you hosting an in-person celebration at the museum?
We are not yet hosting any events or programs inside the museum due to current safety protocols. 

The museum in Washington, D.C. reopened to visitors on September 25 and is currently open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 AM - 4 PM. All visitors to the museum, regardless of age, must have a free, timed-entry pass to enter the museum. If you would like to reserve a timed-entry pass, you can do so at

The museum in New York, NY is currently closed to the public.
Will I be able to watch this event after October 30?
This event will air live on Friday, October 30 at 6:00 PM ET but a recording of the event will be made available within a few days on the museum's YouTube channel. A link to the recording will be shared with all registrants after the event. 

How can I celebrate along with the museum?
This online program will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook, guests are encouraged to participate in the chat during the program! We will also be sharing recipes for foods you can make to enjoy with the program, and links to at-home hands-on activities.   
Can't make it to illumiNations but still want to celebrate Día de los Muertos?
The museum will host our annual Día de los Muertos Weekend Festival online on Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET with family-friendly presentations on the history of the celebration, how to make paper marigolds, and the foods associated with Día de los Muertos. 
National Museum of the American Indian