Often cultural expressions change or are changed by the places and the ways they are celebrated. Birthdays are like this, weddings are like this, and at this time of year El dia de los muertos is like this.
15 years ago there were very few places that embraced this tradition. This year there are at least 3-6 places where El dia de los muertos altars are being presented.
How we remember those we love and admire is not set in stone. It is sometimes written on stone, but may also be written on calaveras, or expressed by the presence of a taste, a scent, or a photo that made a loved one happy when we walked the earth together.
Latino Herirage Ofrenda at Webster's Fine Stationers, Altadena, CA
Adolfo Guzman Lopez writes about the ever changing experience of Día de lo muertos in the link below.