El Día de los Muertos is a ritual celebration from México, Latin and South America in which the spirits of dead loved ones are invited to visit the living as honored guests. Observed in Mexico on Nov 1st and 2nd, this tradition reflects the belief that death is part of life, and so, instead of sadness this is a time of remembering and rejoicing. Central to the celebration is the creation of ofrendas or altars, bearing pictures, lighted candles and traditional items including marigolds, bread, water fruit, favorite foods of deceased family members. The ofrenda honors the loved one who has died and welcomes them back for the celebration. As celebrated in Petaluma for the past 17 years, the observance presents an opportunity for cross-cultural sharing and a unique partnership between the Latino and Anglo communities.