By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN
(CNN) - Sugar skulls, specially adorned altars and fresh pan de muertos have to take a rain check around New York and New Jersey today because of Superstorm Sandy.
Just as many places in the Northeast put Halloween trick-or-treating on hold, the same is happening for Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. The traditionally Mexican holiday is typically celebrated the first two days in November to honor family and friends who have passed away.
Although celebrations are happening in other places with large Latino populations - Chicago, Miami, and many cities in California and Texas - it's a blow to New York and New Jersey. About 18% of the populations of New York and New Jersey are Hispanic, according to the Pew Hispanic Center's 2010 state demographic profiles. In both states, 14% of Hispanics are of Mexican origin, the profiles reported.
“There is no power in the Lower East Side and we cannot have any activities until power is restored due to safety reasons,” New York nonprofit Mano a Mano’s Facebook page and Twitter updates said in English and Spanish.
Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, said its celebration could go forward on November 3, if power is restored. If it's a go, organizers will remake St. Mark Church-in-the-Bowery yard to include an altar building, workshops, dance, poetry and music.
Mano a Mano is not alone. The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and the National Museum of the American Indian cancelled Day of the Dead events today and tomorrow. All three organizations depended on social media to get the word out.
“We regret to inform you that due to the after effects of Hurricane Sandy, the events scheduled for this Friday, November 2nd at the Galeria Octavio Paz... will be postponed until further notice," The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York posted online. The nonprofit organization and New York cultural branch of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs planned to have a Day of the Dead altar honoring Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes and to launch an exhibition of cemetery photographs Lourdes Pérez de Ovando, "Funerary Architecture: Mexico’s Cultural Heritage."
The National Museum of the American Indian was closed, with all Day of the Dead events cancelled, but reported some good news on its Facebook page: “The building and collection are in good health!”
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for some hoping to celebrate: East Harlem, home of El Museo del Barrio. Often referred to as “El Museo” - the museum - it's home to Latin American and Caribbean art focusing on the Puerto Rican history and community in New York City.
“Our galleries are OPEN today and will be open during normal business hours throughout the weekend,” El Museo posted on its Facebook page. “Parents with kids out of school, and neighbors who haven't been able to get to work because of the subway – we invite you to come spend the day at El Museo!”
A short walk away from El Museo, La Casa Azul Bookstore, a Latino bookstore, announced it would host its own celebration wit art activities for kids, calavera face paint, a community altar and samples of pan de muerto and hot chocolate.
"Sandy spared our little house of books!" it posted on Facebook. "Some events were cancelled but this Friday and Saturday's events are still ON!"
Are you celebrating Day of the Dead this year? Were your celebrations upset by Superstorm Sandy? Tell us about it in the comments.