Dia de los Muertos | Texas Public Radio

Dia de los Muertos

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

Fifty years ago, hundreds of students and civilians were massacred in Mexico City by the Mexican military just days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics. On this episode of Fronteras, we look back at the events of Oct. 2, 1968 (0:16). Then, we’ll examine the centuries-old tradition of Día de los Muertos (7:15). And finally, we’ll visit a Día de los Muertos festival in San Antonio (16:57).


Lauren Terrazas / Texas Public Radio

Some Hispanics of Mexican descent have never heard of Día de los Muertos — or they simply never cared about it when they were children.

But as adults, some have developed a new appreciation for this ancient holiday. And the perfect place to make those connections is a Día de los Muertos festival in downtown San Antonio.


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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COCO")

RENEE VICTOR: (As Abuelita) No music.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing in Spanish).

Pixar's newest animated movie, Coco, is meant to be a love letter to Mexico. The movie has a Latino cast. It's full of Mexican music, culture and folklore — including some of the traditions around the Day of the Dead. And it premiered in Mexico, where it's gone on to become the No. 1 film of all time. Now, audiences in the U.S. can see it.

Decorative sugar skulls line the front of the colorful, four-tiered altar. Cempasúchiles in bloom are scattered between painted skeletons, unlit candles and plates of food resting on pink papel picado, an intricately designed tissue paper.

Three banners hang above the display. In the center, La Catrina, the female skeletal figure that has become an icon for the occasion, is painted with a declaration: Día De Muertos. Day of the Dead.

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