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Arts & Culture

On Day Of The Dead, A Celebration Of Life

I ask Jesus de la Torre, a local artist and teacher, and the co-founder of Colectivo Cultural, an organization set up to preserve and celebrate Mexican culture, to explain Dia de los Muertos to those not raised celebrating it.

“It’s confused with Halloween. Halloween is about ghouls and goblins. Dia de los Muertos is about celebrating life, not death. Yes, we’re honoring people who have passed away. But we’re remembering the wonderful things that they’ve done.”

It’s going to be a really big deal.

“It’s going to be a fabulous event. We expect large crowds and we’re also expecting lots of ‘souls’ to attend.”

The layout of events is pretty impressive.

“[The] Dia de los Muertos celebration starts on Saturday at 10 in the morning. They start with a couple of workshops and also some music. And it runs all the way through 11 o’clock on Saturday [evening]. And in the evening we’ll have Azul Barrientos and Tormada, and we end with Pinata Protest. On Sunday we start at 1 o’clock and it runs ‘til ten. Las Tesoros. Nina Diaz. And we’re going to have Master Blaster Sound System. There’ll be all kinds of music. From mariachi to electronic to punk.”

And then there’s the Procession.

“One of the biggest things on both days is the Procession. And that’s one of the most fun parts of it, where people get to go around the entire village with dance group Las Monas, dance, drum and puppet group. And we walk around, calling the spirits to our community altar, and invite everybody to join us.

There are other music stages and Dia de los Muertos arts workshops.

“And it’s going to be beautiful because this year everything is free. We’ll have free music; we’ll have free workshops."

For more on La Villita's Dia de los Muertos celebration, go here.