Celebrating The Day Of The Dead With Festive Events
Halloween stirs up imagines of ghosts and monsters, and children trick or treating. While in the Hispanic culture October 31st through November 2nd is a time to celebrate the lives of the departed loved ones through festivities, drink, food, and music. The festivities include Dia de los Angelinos or Day of the Little Angels, All Saints’ Day or Día de odos los Santos, and All Souls’ Day or Día de todas las almas, which is also referred to as Day of the Dead.
Yes, some folks will be out trick or treating on Halloween, and others will be loving decorating the graves of departed children for Dia de los Angelinos; the Day of the Little Angels. The family member’s, and sister’s and brother’s of these departed Little Angels often dress up, and bring their favorites treats, sugar skulls, and toys to place on altars.
Don’t be frightened when passing a cemetery and you spot candle lights a glow during these three days. It is just families who’ve gathered to honor and remember their loved ones. They’ll bring photos, as well as items cherished by the deceased like snacks or mementoes, and sometimes a blanket and pillow so the spirit of their loved one can rest. Then, the family will share treasured memories, play music while enjoying the fest that often includes Pan de Muerto or bread of dead, as well as special prepared treats and drinks.
Great care goes into preparing Día de los Muertos altars. These beautifully crafted tributes are often decorated with yellow and orange marigolds, known as flowers of the dead. We can honor our loved ones through our own alters by just placing a collection of mementos and photos on a book shelf or as a centerpiece on a table. Then, light a candle, and remember the joyous moments you shared.
You do not need to be Hispanic to join a Day of the Dead festival. It’s a celebration for all, so, don’t be afraid to paint your face or dress up. And, here are a few suggestions you might want to check out on your travels:
Staten Island – New York City Day of the Dead Festival
Held in Staten Island, annual New York City Day of the Dead Festival is free festival for all to enjoy on at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St.Benedicta School. As the festival kicks off you may join in the creation of communal ofrenda or altar buy placing flowers and dedication’s to your loved ones. Learn about the traditions of Mexico, join traditional crafts workshops, kick off your shoes and dance, enjoy the festive music, and sample plenty of food and drinks throughout the day.
London, UK – Day of the Dead Festival
In London, the Day of the Dead Festival will include a intoxicating line-up of entertainment, music, Skull facepainters and a dance depicting the fabled Catrin - Lord Skeleton, and Catrina - Lady Skeleton. In partnership with the Mexican Embassy, the festival will put on four fun days of sugar skulls, masks, flowers and papel picado decorating for the kids at the Oxo Tower. Adults can also treat themselves to a tequila masterclass by Jose Cuervo. Activities are free of charge, you just need to register your attendance here: www.dayofthedeadfestival.eventbrite.com.
Hollywood, CA – Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
The Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which dates back to 1988, is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles. This festive and spiritual event has become a tradition for many in the City of Angels. This year for their annual Dia de los Muertos they honor, Mexican artist, Jose Guadalupe Posada, who's creations of Dia de los Muertos are treasured images of Mexican culture and identity.
Explore Local Dia de los Muertos Festivals
To find Day of the Dead and other festivities to join in your region check the websites of your local town or state travel and tourism office.