The US Postal Service's new Day of the Dead stamps, designed by artist Luis Fitch (courtesy the artist and USPS)

The United States Postal Service has released four new stamps commemorating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead,) a holiday celebrated in the first two days of November.

The new stamps were officially unveiled on September 30 at a dedication ceremony at the El Paso Museum of Art in Texas. The architect behind the miniature artworks is Minneapolis-based Chicano artist Luis Fitch.

Fitch’s vibrantly colored designs feature a family of four calaveras, or “sugar skulls,” surrounded by lit candles, marigolds, and other elements inspired by a traditional Day of the Dead altar, or ofrenda.

Day of the Dead is a Mesoamerican holiday in which families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drinks, and festivities. It is celebrated widely in Mexico and other cities with large Mexican populations.

A sheet of USPS stamps featuring artist Luis Fitch’s Day of the Dead-themed designs (courtesy the artist)

With these stamps, the USPS recognizes the cultural importance of the country’s growing Latinx communities.

“In recent decades, Day of the Dead has caught on in the United States as a festive celebration for all ages,” said Michael J. Elston, secretary of the USPS Board of Governors, at the September dedication ceremony. “These new stamps from the US Postal Service provide a wonderful way to commemorate this colorful and life-affirming holiday.”

Hakim Bishara is a Senior Editor at Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...