dia de los muertos (day of the dead)

The beginning of November is a time celebrated around the world with festivals honoring and celebrating those who have passed, from Asia to Central America. A centuries old tradition in Mexico, El Dia de los Muertos is a festive and family-centered event, traditionally held on November 1st (Day of the Little Angels) and 2nd (Day of the Dead or All Soul’s Day). These festivals celebrate death on friendly and intimate terms, as a natural part of life. Emphasis is on family and tradition, celebrating all with food, dancing and community activities.

Below is a brief list of events happening in King County:

Seattle Public Library
visit www.spl.org for a list of participating libraries
Bring the kids to your local participating Seattle public library between October 22nd and November 12th to learn about Dia de los Muertos activities around Mexico and the United States. Activities will include craft making – Dancing Calacas (skeletons), luminarias, and sugar skulls.

El Centro de la Raza
2524 16th Ave South, Seattle
Ofrenda Exhibit opens November 1st and continues through November 18th. Celebrate a FREE festival on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. Dinner at 5:30pm, reception at 6:30pm. El Centro de la Raza’s Dia de los muertos events were supported in part, through a 4Culture’s Group Arts Projects award.

South Park Community Center
Dia de los Muertos Literary Reading
8319 Eighth Ave. South, Seattle
On Wednesday, November 2, between 6:00pm and 8:00pm, come to the center as Los Norteños presents a Day of the Dead reading. Before the reading, a community altar will be built. Feel free to bring an ofrenda or offering to the dead. Pan dulce, juice, coffee and tea will be served.

Olympic Sculpture Park
13th Annual Dia del los Muertos Celebration
2901 Western Avenue, Seattle
SAM is celebrating the annual celebration of el Día de los Muertos at the Olympic Sculpture Park. There will be a tapete (sand painting) inspired by Oaxaca traditions. On Friday, November 4 a free drop-in art activity will be offered as well as a family-friendly artist reception with live performances from 6:00pm – 8:00 pm!

Phinney Neighborhood Center
Dia de los Muertos Festival
6532 Phinney Ave N.,  Seattle
FREE festival on Friday, November 4th between 6:30pm and 9:00pm, which will include a parade, dancing (Bailadores de Bronce), music, and story telling. The festival will begin with a remembrance at the community altar, feel free to bring photographs and remembrances of your relatives and loved ones.

Images:© 2010, Peter Howard, images taken in and around Patzcuaro, Mexico