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All of our Nook Neighborhoods host tons of cultural events. While you get your Halloween costume ready or visit great haunts, don’t forget about that fabulous Dia de los Muertos tradition. Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) is a multi-day Mexican celebration of loved ones who have passed, building ofrendas (“altars”) to help their passing to the spiritual world. Marigolds are often brought to graves, cemeteries and altars to attract the souls to each place. Family and friends will leave meaningful objects on the altar of a loved one, including toys for children and bottles of alcohol or trinkets for adults.
Dia de los Muertos is not a somber time, not the kind of gathering we associate with death in Western cultures. Nor is it the “Mexican Halloween,” as some characterize it because of their close timing. Ten years ago, you would only see Self Help Graphics or the city of Santa Ana’s celebrations. Today, nearly every neighborhood joins in the traditions and joy of an authentic Dia de los Muertos.
Los Angeles/Long Beach
- Grand Park Through Nov 5. Set in the exact center of Downtown L.A.’s arts community and close to public transportation, Grand Park holds tours and workshops surrounding Dia de los Muertos traditions.
- 24th ST Theatre Nov 2 (6-10PM). The Space Sanchos headline this free block party on the corner of 24th ST and Hoover. Enjoy local food vendors and artists along with such popular musicians as The Louie Cruz Beltran Ensemble.
- 3rd Annual DDLM in Downtown Long Beach. Nov 5 (5-10PM). Hosted by Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, enjoy music from Sweet and Tender Hooligans, Salt Petal and local artist RUDY De ANDA..
- DDLM Altar Display and Art Exhibition at MOLAA - Museum of Latin American Art. Through Nov 15. See art and altars on the Dia de los Muertos theme in this exhibit, a juried collection from Southern California artists.
San Francisco/Bay Area
- Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars in The Mission District. Thurs Nov 2 (7pm). For over 30 years the community of San Francisco comes together for a procession and collections at a community altar.
- The San Francisco’s Symphony’s DDLM Community Concerts and Celebration. Nov 4 (2 & 6PM). Eugenia Leon leads a family friendly concert in the afternoon and joins her ensemble in the evening, surrounded by live art, dancing and altars!
- Oakland Ballet's Luna Mexicana. Nov (6PM) Enjoy this vibrant traditional musical performance in your own Day of the Dead attire. In Luna Mexicana, a young woman’s dreams revive her relatives and friends who all dance back to life in the forms of teetering skeletons, skirt swishing girls, a high flying “deer dancer,” and a deathly Bride and Groom.
- The Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Nov 5 (12-4PM). This outdoor festival roots itself in true authenticity of the holiday, and features Classical Latin Guitarist Joseph Yashar, the Rockabillys, Corona Dance Company, Conjunto Tenocelomeh son Jarocho.
- Noches de Altares in Santa Ana presented by Cultural de los Mexicos. Nov 2 (1-10PM). Santa Ana prides itself on its cross cultural inspirations and heritage. On this special night, they invite all members of the community to build their altars together.
- Palm Springs Art Museum. Nov 4. Arts activities and local artists convene between two museum locations, merging community organizations and the public.
- Dia de los Muertos SWFL Parade and Festival.. (Nov 2 5pm - Nov 3-11PM). A parade and surrounding community activities to benefit women with uterine cancer through Dreams in the Sun.
- Dia de los Muertos at Bodega South Beach (Nov 1 6PM - Nov 2 5AM). Their annual party with face painting and tequila is always a great deal of fun.
- Old Town San Diego's Dia de Los Muertos Nov 2. This celebration has everything you need for a proper Day of the Dead weekend. San Diego is a perfect place to merge today’s community with a long history of tradition from South America.
- Day of the Dead with Eugenia León. Well known Mexican icon Eugenia León takes the stage at the San Diego Symphony, They will also have face painting, paper flower making and festive decorating of skulls!
- DDLM Celebration Downtown San Diego. Nov 2 (8-10PM). See your favorite Chicano and Mexican bands at the Historic Balboa Theatre downtown, including La Santa Cecilia, Mexrrissey, and Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Tickets are reasonable for such a guaranteed fun evening and then you have all of San Diego’s best restaurants to choose for a nightcap.
- Dia de los Muertos at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Nov 5 (5PM). For one night, the Santa Barbara Bowl will immerse you in the cultural traditions of this holiday. Mariachis, DJs, Café Tacvba, Ozomatli, Las Cafeteras, Hy Brasil, Carlos Nino and DJ Tropicaza will all make an appearance.
- DDLM Tour at UCSB. Nov 3 (8-9:30PM). This is the perfect place to hear what Mexico’s top musicians sounds like now. Listen to Grammy award-winning La Santa Cecilia, Mexrrissey’s blends of Morrissey and Mexican rock, then the all female Mariachi Flor de Toloache will forever change how you hear mariachi bands for the better.
Traditions abound in all our Nook Neighborhoods. Search With Style® on your iPhone or Android to find the design and culture right for you.