Dia de los Muertos event in Salt Lake City creates new world record

Nov 1, 2022, 9:59 AM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 5:58 pm

Photos of family members are placed on a Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, or altar, at Trolley Square in...

Photos of family members are placed on a Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, or altar, at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Over 1,200 photos were placed on the altar, breaking a Guinness World Record for the most pictures of loved ones on a Dia de los Muertos altar. (Sydnee Gonzalez/KSL.com)

(Sydnee Gonzalez/KSL.com)

SALT LAKE CITY — Over a hundred people participated in a Dia de los Muertos event at Trolley Square on Saturday, placing over 1,200 photos of their deceased loved ones on an altar.

The event was part of an attempt to establish a new Guinness World Record for the most pictures of loved ones on a Dia de los Muertos altar, also known as an ofrenda. The record category did not previously exist and nonprofit Una Mano Amiga, which hosted the event, is working on making the record official.

“This category does not exist; we were the first in the world,” Una Mano Amiga founder Rocio Mejia said. “We had a total of 1,205 photographs of deceased (individuals) locally, nationally and internationally.”

Dia de los Muertos, which translates to Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday with pre-Columbian roots that is celebrated annually on Nov. 1 and 2. As part of the event, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs director Nubia Peña read proclamations recognizing Dia de los Muertos on the county and state levels.

“These holidays are not just for one community; they’re for all Utahns,” Peña said. “This is a unified way of coming together to celebrate what many of us have experienced: a loss of a loved one.”

Marla Love, founder of Arte Primero and one of the event’s organizers, said the event is a reflection of Utah’s diversity — something she’s seen grow since she moved from California to Utah in 1993.

Students from Arte Primero, a bilingual art and dance studio listen to Arte Primero founder Marla Love and her mother, Una Mano Amiga founder Rocio Mejia during a Día de Los Muertos celebration on Saturday at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City. (Sydnee Gonzalez/KSL.com)

“It’s beautiful to see. As I see the audience, there’s people from all over the world,” Love said. “Day of the Dead, yes, is a Mexican holiday. But Day of the Dead is a celebration of people who have died, and the pain of losing someone is universal.”

She added that Mexican culture differs from many other cultures, where death is something to be feared.

“This is a celebration of those who have passed away,” said Love, whose family member’s photos were on the ofrenda. “This is a happy celebration.”

Utah state Sen. Luz Escamilla stressed the holiday’s family-centric focus and thanked Mejia, Una Mano Amiga’s founder, for continuing the holiday’s tradition in Utah.

“You see these beautiful children here today embracing history and culture and family and loved ones,” Escamilla said. “The vast amount of images here reflect all of us.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Anda Xie...

Tamara Vaifanua

Utah high school student wins business grant

A Utah high school student won a $3,000 grant to fund his new business venture.

24 minutes ago

Ryan Smith posted this image to X on Tuesday, showing a new NBA and NHL arena anchoring what he cal...

Josh Ellis

Lawmakers debate NHL arena funding as Church supports project’s potential to ‘revitalize downtown’

The Utah House of Representatives is continuing to discuss a bill to fund a National Hockey League stadium and “sports and entertainment” district in downtown Salt Lake City as the clock ticks down on the 2024 general legislative session.

50 minutes ago

Snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

WEATHER ALERT: Here’s what to expect as remnants of California blizzard head to Utah

A winter storm warning has been issued for parts of the Wasatch Mountains, while other mountain areas in Utah's northern half are listed in a winter storm watch ahead of a storm that has the potential to deliver multiple feet of snow over the next few days.

2 hours ago

February, 29, otherwise know as leap year day, is shown on a calendar Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, in Ove...

Eliza Pace

Nine Leap Day deals and discounts

It's Leap Day and the extra day in February has some extra deals this year. 

4 hours ago

A Lehi home was destroyed in a fire Thursday morning. (Jeanteil Livingston, Lehi City)...

Karah Brackin

Lehi house partially collapses following massive fire

Several emergency crews responded to a large fire that severely damaged a Lehi home Thursday morning.

7 hours ago

Two people were killed in a plane crash in Grand County on Feb. 7. The National Transportation Safe...

Cassidy Wixom, KSL.com

Plane fell like a ‘corkscrew’ before fatal crash near Colorado border; cause remains unknown

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Wednesday on a plane crash in Grand County that destroyed the plane and killed two people as it spiraled from the sky.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Dia de los Muertos event in Salt Lake City creates new world record