The relationship between marigolds, or caléndulas, and the Day of the Dead is profound.
An altar is not complete without the display of thousands of gold and orange marigolds that bring this celebration of deceased loved ones to life. The vibrant color of the flowers is even more striking with the warm tones of the candle lights surrounding it. There is a reason why calendula resembles the essence of the Day of the Dead. And it is a sight to behold.
The musky fragrance of marigolds is said to lead souls from their burial place to their family homes. Over the years, this tradition adopted Catholic aspects from the Spanish who conquered Mexico.
There are other flowers that are used for the festival such as chrysanthemums, cockscombs or gladioli. But none are as memorable as the marigold.