A Cultura Series Post: Día de Los Muertos

By: Paige Velasquez

The Latino community is gearing up to celebrate the tradition that originated in Mexico, Día de los Muertos. On October 31, November 1 and 2, we celebrate the cycle of life and the loved ones that have passed.

Bright colored ofrendas are displayed around cemeteries and festivals to honor loved ones.  The ofrendas display pictures and memorabilia and are decorated with candles, marigolds, sugar skulls and flowers along with the deceased’s favorite foods. It is believed that lighting the candles will help loved one’s souls find their way back home.

Calaveras are a popular symbol for the holiday. These sugar skulls are crafted and given as gifts to both the living and the dead. Many that attend the Día de Los Muertos festivities paint their faces like sugar skulls and dress in costume. You can find Día de Los Muertos makeup tutorials and ofrendas ideas on Teatro Vivo’s Pinterest page under the “¡Enfiestate! Special Feature: Día de Los Muertos” board.

Austin is a multicultural city and offers various community events during the Día de Los Muertos’ festivities. These community events involve processions, shrines, live music, food, traditional dancing and costume contests.  Here are a few you might want to check out:

  • Show off your classic ride and celebrate Día de Los Muertos at MACC on Nov. 2
  • Join the procession for Día de Los Muertos Round Rock on Nov. 2 at Centennial Plaza
  • Participate in making an alter de muertos to honor your loved ones. Presented by Austin Public Library’s Literature Live, Noche de Muertos is on Oct. 30 at Southeast Branch
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