Americans got Halloween all right. But in Mexico, they have a public holiday similar to Halloween but 10 times better.
DAY OF THE DEAD
The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos in Spanish, is an iconic Mexican tradition, which is a fusion of indigenous influences that can be rooted back from the ancient Aztecs fiesta for Mictecacihuatl, The Lady of The Dead, and All Saints and All Souls Day courtesy of the Catholic teachings.
A stark contrast from the dark and scary side of the typical American Halloween where zombies, ghosts of little girls, or clowns gone crazy come to haunt you (thanks but no thanks, Hollywood), the Day of the Dead is more like a vibrantly colorful and festive celebration done in memory of family and friends who have since crossed over to the land of the dead.
Aside from decorating their dearly departed's graves with ofrendas or altars, offering favorite food, things, and flowers, such as marigolds are also done. In Mexico, marigolds are sometimes known as Flor de Muerto or flowers of the dead.
DIA DELOS MUERTOS L.A. STYLE
The Day of the Dead is celebrated not only in Mexico but throughout the rest of the world, where there’s a great presence of the Latin community, such as Guatemala, Brazil, Spain, and even in America.
In Los Angeles, this ancient tradition is very much alive, with numerous events happening simultaneously all over town for at least nine days until the 1st and 2nd of November.
Olvera Street, Hollywood Forever, and more! We’ve mapped out all the amazingly colorful Day of the Dead events in Los Angeles just for you.
Experience the closest Dia De Los Muertos festival at the heart of L.A.’s Latin community at Olvera Street. Located in downtown Los Angeles, this popular tourist destination has everything Mexican you can dream of at any given day. Taquitos, tacos, strolling mariachi bands, Aztec folkloric dancers, Mexican art, crafts, and souvenirs, you name it!
But this brick-lined market street becomes more special during its annual Day of the Dead street party at El Pueblo, where a procession takes place every night aside from other fun happenings you can enjoy for free.
Catch a glimpse of the local artists' contemporary take on the Mexican ofrendas and paintings at the Grand Park, which is found in downtown Los Angeles between The Music Center and City Hall.
This is the same venue for Noche de Ofrenda happening on the 27th, where guests can take part in building a giant community altar.
From noon until 12 midnight, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery will be a cool place for the living and dead as it’ll be filled with art exhibits, music, plus graves of late celebrities are decorated, such as those of those of actor Rudy Valentino, and punk rock musicians, Johnny Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone.
Starting with a Day of the Dead procession, spend your weekend joining ofrenda making workshops, self-guided tours of famous celebs gravesites all while munching on delicious tamales, tacos, pan de muerto, and refreshing aguas frescas.