BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — Valeria Azomosa has heard many stories about her aunt or tia in Spanish.
Azomosa’s tia Mimi lost her battle with cancer, but the family loves her so much that they named their business Nieves Tia Mimi after her. She is especially thought about this time of year when the Mexican community celebrates El Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
“She was a great wonderful. She had a great spirit. She was a wonderful person,” said Azomosa.
Brooklyn has a large Mexican community, especially in the Sunset Park neighborhoods. Many businesses here decorated their shops for the holiday.
“It’s a Mexican tradition, Dia de Muertos, and Nov. 2 is the big day,” said Norma Velazquez.
One bakery on Fifth Avenue even baked a special bread. Others put out altars with ofrendas or offerings like their favorite foods, drinks and other items for their loved ones who have passed away.
“It is like an offering, almost like a passage for the loved ones to come,” said Azomosa.
There were several Day of the Dead events in the borough, including a parade, festival and other group gatherings to encourage communities to both remember those gone but also celebrate their lives.
“It’s nice to see them honoring it. It’s sad that it was raining, but it’s nice to keep the traditions going,” said Mariam Rodriguez.
Much of the folklore includes decorated skulls and flowers as a way to focus on the happy memories of family and friends who are gone.
“Not to remember that they’re gone. But that they are always in our hearts. Showing them, we didn’t forget them. They are always welcomed here, whether dead or alive. They are family no matter what,” said Valeria Azomosa.