Want to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, aka Day of the Dead? There’s been a lot of events this month but today –Nov. 2nd– is the most important day, when it is believed that the souls of the “faithfully departed”
Though events-wise, it has been melded with All Saints Day on Nov. 1st and even Halloween on Oct. 31st, now is the time to make an altar with offerings (ofrendas) for your departed loved one. If you already did, today and tonight it should become the focus, to honor deceased loved ones with gifts, food, remembrance and reverence.
As we have written before, the commercialization and appropriation of the holiday has become a point of contention for some Latinos in recent years. Just as these issues for other marginalized communities have been reconsidered, questions have arisen about what’s OK in terms of products (everyone from Target to the 99 Cents Store carries floral-adorned skeleton merch alongside spooky Halloween stuff) and costume (if Indian garb is off limits now for those not belonging to the culture, should calavera face paint be as well?). Day of the Dead today can and should inspire conversation, which, no matter where you stand on these questions, can at least, lead to cultural understanding.
The thematic similarities and timing so close to Halloween coupled with the celebration landing on a Tuesday this year, meant that most Muertos events occurred this past weekend. But for those of us who go all out during Halloween, it was hard to attend everything we’d have liked. The Halloween hangover struggle is real. Plus, a lot of us are still weary of big crowds. COVID-19 breakthroughs are real too.
Below, we spotlight a few things you can still check out.
- Grand Park and Self Help Graphics’ Dia de los Muertos displays (all pictured here) are still up. Today and tonight mark your last chance to see them, as artists and groups will taking their altars down tomorrow. 200 N. Grand Ave. at Grand Park. 5:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. More info: grandparkla.org/event/downtown-dia-de-los-muertos-2021
- One of the liveliest celebrations of loved ones past, Olvera Street offers a procession of music and dance, plus elaborate altars and more. (Read more about the history of the holiday via Olvera Street’s wonderful blog here. Procession starts at 7 p.m. tonight. 845 N. Alameda St. olvera-street.com.
- La Cha Cha Cha, the welcoming rooftop DTLA restaurant, invites guests to bring candles and or pictures of their loved ones to display on their special altar to celebrate tonight. Fine Mexican food and mescal and tequila drinks add to the fiesta. Tues., Nov. 2, 5-10 p.m. 812 E. 3rd St. Downtown. chachacha.la
- Dia de Muertos with La Sonora Dinamita (live from Columbia) welcomes face masks and costumes for their event, with two rooms of dancing to DJs and live music at Sage Restaurant and Lounge. Fri. Nov 5 & Sat. Nov. 6. 6511 Greenleaf Ave. Whittier. Tickets and info at sagewhittier.com.
- Wicked Skatewear and Blood + Thunder host a Dia De Los Muertos Skate Party with vendors, a communal altar, roller skating, drinks and DJs. Sat., Nov 6 from 8 p.m.-Midnight. 2968 Randolph Av Unit #2, Costa Mesa. wickedskatewear.com