Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. The holiday is meant to honor those whom have moved on to the afterlife. Loved ones are remembered with altars which contain pictures, memorabilia, flowers, favorite foods and drinks. The flower cempasuchil is the traditional flower used during the Day of the Dead. Altars are decorated with handmade decorations made out of papel picado and by beautifully decorated calaveras (sugar skulls). A popular calavera icon being La Catrina created by Jose Guadalupe Posada. Calavera makeup is also traditional to the celebrations of the Day of the Dead, unfortunately it’s an art form that has been culturally appropriated by those that wish to make it a Halloween costume.
Although Day of the Dead begins on October 31st, it is important to note that Día de Los Muertos and Halloween are not synonymous. Day of the Dead has nothing to do with horror, gore, or being afraid of ghosts. It is quite the opposite in fact – it is a day to honor and spend time with those that have passed away. Because of the large Mexican demographic in the United States you will find that Día de Los Muertos is now also celebrated here. It is beautiful to see cultura being passed down and not forgotten. Check out where you can find Día de Los Muertos celebrations in Los Angeles!
Date: October 25- November 2nd
Location: La Placita Olvera
About: With over 30 years of celebrations, Día de Los Muertos event on Olvera Street is the city’s oldest celebration. It is a nine day festival with community altars, face painting, children’s workshops, and entertainment for the whole family. Nightly at 7 p.m. there is a Novenario Procession where traditional Mayan Blessing/Soul Cleansing takes place before and the procession. The procession also includes Aztec Dancers and Parade of “Living Muertos.” Pan dulce and champurrado are given out for free.There is also a 5k run, “Carrera de Los Muertos 5k” on October 29th, 2017. All participants are encouraged to get artistic with their running outfits.
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Date: October 28th, 2017
Location: Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles
About: Curated by Self Help Graphics & Art and created by local organizations and artists, Noche de Ofrenda take place at Grand Park on October 28th, 2017. There will be four altars in display including a community altar by Mujeres de Maiz and Ni Santas Collective, a Catrina floating floral altar at the Arthur J. Memorial Fountain splashpad, “The Journey to Mictlán” an art installation, and two additional community altars at the event lawn. The altars are described as “ofrenda spaces for the local community to write and place dedicated tributes to their dearly departed.”
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Date: October 29th, 2017
Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA
About: The Museum of Latin American Arts is hosting its annual Día de Los Muertos family festival. “Learn more about this cultural tradition through art workshops, live performances, gallery tours, face painting, food and unique craft vendors.” The museum also has its annual Community and Ofrenda and Art Exhibition. It’s a family-oriented event, plus Día de Los Muertos attire is welcomed!
Date: October 28 -29
Time: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Location: Hollywood Forever Cemetary
Cost: G.A. $20
About: The 18th annual Day of the Dead celebration at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is taking place on October 28th, 2017. This year the event is honoring Jose Guadalupe Posada, a Mexican artist who created many of the foundational images of Día de los Muertos like La Catrina. The event will include altars, face painting, food vendors, and live music. The main stage will include the following artists; Aterciopelados, Cuco, Ximena Sabriñana, Very Be Careful, La Chamba, MC Pili Montilla, and Chulita Vinyl Club.