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Denver restaurant builds 'ofrenda' ahead of Día de los Muertos celebration

The celebration is still about a month away, but the Executive Chef of Toro restaurant wants to share his culture with others leading up to the traditional holiday.

DENVER, Colorado — Día de los Muertos is still about a month away with the first day beginning Nov. 1. Families create ofrendas or shrines, to honor their loved ones who have passed, with items of offering believed to encourage those to reunite with their relatives. 

Executive Chef Oscar Padilla at Denver's Toro restaurant has set up an ofrenda to celebrate his heritage and share his culture. It took him about six hours to create the ofrenda, which included food, salt, pictures, papel picado or shredded paper in English, and other items. 

"It’s all good feelings making that ofrenda because in Mexico, we make ofrendas to remember, to celebrate all family when they pass away," said Oscar Padilla. 

He is using the time ahead of Día de los Muertos to share the experience with others who may have never seen anything like it before. 

"When they see that, number one they are so interested. 'What is that?  Why? What is the purpose?' I feel amazing and I know I have a big opportunity to share these things, these traditions by explaining step-by-step, ingredient-by-ingredient, so they understand a little bit what is Día de los Muertos and why we celebrate," said Padilla.

"I love to come to the tables and explain to the people what is behind the dishes, what is the tradition that they can possibly discover, because it’s beautiful," Padilla said. 

The ofrenda will remain up through October and during Nov. 1 and 2. Padilla hopes to add some additional items such as family photos when the celebration begins.

RELATED: This is how to make an altar for Dia de los Muertos

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