Dia de los Muertos / The Day of the Dead: November 2nd
Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008 the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. It was moved to October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with the Roman Catholic triduum festival of Allhallowtide: All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead. It happens to be a holiday that has become a national symbol and as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the nation's schools, but there are families who are more inclined to celebrate a traditional "All Saints Day" associated with the Catholic Church.
On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.
The Days of the Dead
October 31st - All Hallow's Eve, Halloween
November 1st - Dia de los innocents, All Saint's Day
November 2nd - the Day of the Dead, All Soul's Day
Dia de los Muertos Celebrations in Albuquerque
In Albuquerque, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebrations take place over several weeks in October and November, although the holiday is traditionally celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd.
Families remember deceased loved ones and honor them by building offering altars (ofrendas) where sugar skulls are placed, along with offerings of pan de muertos (bread). The holiday is festive although the subject may not be, as spirits are welcomed back into peoples' lives for another year.
Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe
Sunday October 30, 2016 1 - 4 PM
Dia de Los Muertos/ Day of the Dead. Hands on activities for ages 3 to 103, enjoy live music, write a memorial leaf for the tree of life on the community altar, seasonal refreshments. All included with Museum admission, New Mexico residents FREE on Sundays.
Dia de los Muertos in Mesilla
October 28th- 30th on the Plaza (Procession November 2nd).
Dia de los Muertos in Silver City
October 30- November 2, 2016.
October 30 –Market and Texas Streets in Downtown Silver City
1-3 p.m. Mariachi Music
2-3 p.m. Story Tellers 3:30 Parade!
4-6:30 Mariachi Music
4 p.m. & 7 p.m. “The Book of Life” Silco Theater
7-9 p.m. – WNMU Fine Arts Theatre – Talk by Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca followed by performance by Ballet Folklorico de la Universidad Autonoma de Cd. Juarez
4-5 p.m. -Silver City Museum- Mariachi Canto a Mi Tierra de la UACJ
5 p.m. An Ofrenda Procession begins at Silver City Museum, proceeds through downtown Silver City and ends at Miller Library
7-9p.m. Miller Library Ofrendas, Talks , WNMU’s Mariachi Plata
6:30 p.m. WNMU Parotti Hall Catalino Delgado Trunk Artist Lecture Papel Picado 7:30-9 p.m. WNMU McCray Gallery- Opening Reception Catalina Delgado Trunk and Community Ofrenda