November 1st and 2nd are the days of Dia de los Muertos and a time to celebrate in the South Bay. Unlike Halloween which is geared toward warding off or scaring off evil spirits, the Day of the Dead encourages the spirits of the dead to visit and celebrate with the living. Although the holidays are close together in date, they are very different. Halloween is dark with images of monsters, evil beings and witchery taking center stage. Dia de Los Muertos is a time for cheerful celebration of life. The first day of festivity is Dia de los Angelitos or the Day of the Little Angels. Children who have passed are remembered and their lives are celebrated. After, on the 2nd is Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead and is dedicated to celebrating the lives of adults that have passed.
It is believed that Dia de los Muertos started as an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl “Lady of the Dead.” Festivals are known to take place in Mexico but also in other locations around the world including many Latin American countries.
Dia de los Muertos is a happy occasion and is a time to share memories of loved ones that have passed. It’s believed that death is only the beginning of one’s life and that the dead can come back to Earth on this special day to visit with the living that misses them. To pay respect grave sites are lavishly decorated, alters to the dead are created, delicious food is enjoyed and music is played. Offerings of bread and the deceased’s favorite meals are served. Marigolds are strewn about and sugar skulls are colorfully decorated. It’s a day wonderful festivities.
Where to Celebrate
Downtown San Pedro has a Dia de los Muertos festival every year. It will take place this Friday November 1st at 5:00pm. There will be a competition for the best alters created to alter the dead with various prizes including cash. Kids will be invited to participate in crafts in the La Muerte Viva Art Area. Although the main part of the celebration will be happening during this time, downtown San Pedro will be celebrating all weekend with art exhibits, sugar skulls and displays. Come and enjoy dancing, delicious Latin-American cuisine, musicians and other forms of entertainment!
Crafted will also be celebrating this special holiday. They will be letting guests paint sugar skulls in their creation center. In addition, on November 1st at 4:45 p.m. Folklorico Del Mar, a San Pedro dance troupe will hold a special presentation to honor Dia de los Muertos.
How do you celebrate or honor your loved ones who have passed?