A calavera is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to decorative or edible skulls made (usually by hand) from either sugar (called Alfeñiques) or clay which are used in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls' Day.

5 Ways to Observe Dia de los Muertos in Milwaukee This Year

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, marks a celebration of the life of the deceased and recognizing death as a part of the cycle of life. Although it takes place the day after Halloween, the two holidays are completely separate. Celebrate this rich cultural tradition at these Milwaukee events this week.

Ghosts Under Glass at the Mitchell Park Domes

While the Tropical Dome transforms into a haunted festival, the Desert Dome will house a Dia de los Muertos celebration, bright with candlelight, colors and orange marigolds. Despite occurring around the same time as Halloween, this completely separate symbolic tradition celebrates the dead returning to visit for one special day. Admission is $8 per person.

Where: 524 S. Layton Blvd.
When: Oct. 27, 6-9 p.m.

8th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival and 5K Run/Walk

Join Dia de los Muertos Milwaukee for a day of remembrance and celebration. Face painting and an art market will take place in Walker Square Park, and the parade will begin at 2 p.m. after the run/walk.

Where: 1031 S. Ninth St.
When: Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Latino Arts Gallery Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda Exhibition

Latino Arts celebrates life with this annual exhibition, featuring ofrendas (altars for the dead to come to visit) made by local, regional and international artists. An opening reception will take place Friday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.

Where: Latino Arts Gallery, 1028 S. Ninth St.
When: Oct. 26-Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Walker’s Point 30th Anniversary Celebration

Honoring the Mexican and Latinx cultural traditions that run deep in the community, Walker’s Point Center for the Arts celebrates its 30th Anniversary. The anniversary celebration will feature live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, art, a raffle and a silent auction. Admission is $50 per person, but those who cannot make it are welcome to donate.

Where: 838 S. Second St.
When: Nov. 2, 6-11 p.m.

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts 25th Annual Dia de los Muertos Exhibition

This exhibition has hosted hundreds of ofrendas to honor those who have passed. In addition to the ofrendas, a 33-image photo series by Mexican artists will present a wide array of Mexican traditions and customs. This year’s theme is “Traditions.”

Where: 839 S. Fifth St.
When: Oct. 20-Nov. 18