Skip to content

What to do with the offering food after the Day of the Dead?

24 mayo, 2021

A question we ask ourselves every year after the Day of the Dead is what to do with the offering food.

And we cannot deny it: food is an essential element in this beautiful Mexican tradition: from sugar skulls, pumpkin candy, pan de muerto, fruit, sweets and even stews.

But what to do with all this food after the celebration? Here we explain.

Don’t miss: Halloween or Day of the Dead: the history of each party

Food of the offering of the dead: tradition and beliefs

According to popular belief, both the objects and the food that is placed in the offering attract the spirits of the afterlife to facilitate their journey from Mictlán to the houses where the altar is placed, which is normally in the home of their relatives. .

It is a tradition to put in the offering that food that the relatives liked, such as tamales, mole, alcoholic beverages, among others, in order to remember them and enjoy a night of partying “in their company.”

There are those who believe that food loses its flavor after the Day of the Dead, because the spirits eat the “essence” of the food and, therefore, it does not taste the same.

Whether you want to eat it or not, we give you options of what to do when picking up your offering.

offering colors

(Photo: Getty Images)

It may interest you: When is the Day of the Dead offering set and raised?


  • You can eat it: really, most food can be consumed without problem, as long as it has not been exposed to the elements of nature (such as wind or dust). It is safer for you to eat the fruit without any problem.
  • Prepared food: this is better to discard, as it is easier for it to decompose and it is unhygienic to consume it after the time it was exposed. We suggest that you do not place too much and that you put a little symbolic.
  • Pan de muerto: this can hardly remain soft and fresh after being in the offering. What you can do is grind it without the sugar parts and feed it to the birds.
  • Sugar skulls: unlike amaranth and chocolate skulls, these can be carefully stored to be reused the following year.

Discover more tips to celebrate the Day of the Dead in Easy Kitchen