WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Día de Los Muertos is a time to celebrate loved ones who have passed away.

“Putting an alter, or what we call in Spanish, ofrenda, can have your own meaning. Give it the meaning that you want,” speaker Dr. Claudia Montoya said.

Montoya was one of the lead speakers of the anatomy of an ofrenda, or an altar set up with pictures of loved ones, as people gear up for the annual Los Muertos event.

Montoya spoke about how indigenous roots influence the celebration.

“Some days we tend to forget the contributions that indigenous people have made to the history and culture of the continent. Modern civilization have taken away from indigenous culture and recognizing the contributions like the day of the dead roots, it’s a way to pay homage to them,” Montoya said.

Paying homage by teaching people how to decorate their altar. Of course, there’s no wrong way.

“Food and items that belonged to a person that you love and already passed away and a way to remember them,” Montoya said.

With knowledge in hand, folks can set up an ofrenda on the day of the big event, which Montoya says bring an authentic feel.

“I would like for people to be open-minded and come to the celebration even if they have never seen it before. Keep in mind, there are tourists that travel from all over the world to go to Mexico and see this tradition. You don’t have to do that! You have it here in Wichita Falls,” Montoya said.

Bringing the community together one night of remembering loved ones.

The Celebration of Life takes place on October 29.

Click here for more information.