El Día de los Muertos 2013
Come celebrate El Día de los Muertos in and around the Luria Library!
From 10/27-11/2 the annual altar exhibit, sponsored by El Día de los Muertos Committee, can be viewed the library. If you can’t come to the library, you can see some images in this online photo album.
The library is open from 7:30am to 10pm Monday-Thursday and Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday 12-5pm, Sunday 10am-10pm.
But there’s so much more!
More Celebration Ideas:
- Free family activity at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art October 27th 1-4pm
- Casa Dolores celebrates El Día de los Muertos: Sugar Skulls!–Ofrendas!–Pan de Muerto! Nov. 2 1-4pm
- Create your own sugar skulls!
- Papel Picado template.
- Craft a Matchbox Shrine.
- Or become a sugar skull for Halloween.
Some background on this tradition
El Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition that dates back to the ancient indigenous peoples of Mexico. The festival takes place on November 1st (All Saints Day) and November 2nd (All Souls Day), respectively. It is believed that the souls of departed children return on the 1st day and are greeted with gifts of toys and balloons adorning their graves. On the 2nd day all departed spirits return to earth to eat, drink, and celebrate with their kin. [source] The original celebration for El Día de los Muertos fell in the summer, but with the arrival of the Spanish and Catholicism the celebration was moved to November to coincide with the Catholic holiday of All Soul’s Day. [source]
While El Día de los Muertos is intertwined with the American Halloween tradition it is distinctly different in origin. The Catholic holiday of All Soul’s Day (November 1st) it is thought by some historians to have been moved coincide with the ancient Gaelic celebration of Samhain, which falls on October 31st. This day was then called All Hallows Eve or Halloween. The celebration of Samhain, much like the Eastern tradition of the Festival of Hungry Ghosts, is about spirits returning to Earth to perform mischievous acts. [source] While El Día de los Muertos is meant to be a celebration of loved ones and the natural cycle of life.
The symbols of El Día de los Muertos is characterized by colorful sugar skills, skeletons, bright paper cut-outs, face painting, and marigolds. These attributes are not only to decorate grave sites, but also are used to create beautiful altars in celebration of the deceased. While el Día de los Muertos may appear macabre to those unfamiliar with the tradition, it is as much a celebration of life as it is death.
Want to read about it?
Check out some books in our library.