Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is the Mexican celebration of All Souls Day. It is celebrated with varying degrees of reverence and enthusiasm at Day of the Dead events across Los Angeles. Traditions include caring for the graves of family members, building elaborate altars to loved ones who have passed on and celebrating the dead with processions, dances and music. Calaveras, or skulls show up in masks, costumes, paper maché puppets, and candy, including sugar skulls that children decorate for the day.
Every Mexican community in LA has their own festivities, from family events at local cemeteries to neighborhood block parties. Here are a few of the biggest.
El Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Sacred ceremonial tributes, altar creations and performances among some of Hollywood's most famous celebrity graves. Food will be available for purchase. Families are encouraged to come by Friday evening and Saturday morning to watch the altars being created. Arrive early to find the best parking.
When: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 12 pm -12 am
Where: 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., LA, CA 90038
Cost: $20 (cash only, correct change appreciated), children 8 and under and seniors 65+ Free until 4 pm
Parking: Check the website for nearby parking.
Info: (323) 447-0999, www.ladayofthedead.com
Photos: Hollywood Forever Day of the Dead Pictures
The Olvera Street Merchants Dia de los Muertos
Nine nights of Novenario processions through the Olvera Street Mexican market at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site followed by free pan de Muerto (sweet bread) and champurrado(a Mexican hot beverage).
When: Processions Oct 25 - Nov 2, 2016, 7 - 9pm; Fiesta Muertos Nov 1-2, 2016, 10 am - 6 pm
Where: The Gazebo Plaza on Olvera Street, El Pueblo Historical Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, LA, CA
Info: (213) 625-7074, www.elpueblo.lacity.org
Metro: Union Station
Olvera Street Photo Tour
Dia de los Muertos at Self Help Graphics
The city's longest running and most authentic celebration of the Day of the Dead, this East Los Angeles community arts celebration is now in multiple parts spread across multiple dates.
A Noche de Ofrenda blessing of the altars (listed below) takes place the weekend before at Grand Park, and mask-making workshops are held for several weeks before the main event on November 2.
When: Craft Workshops Saturdays in October 12 noon - 3 pm; Exhibition Reception Oct 20, 2016, 7-10 pm; Procession and festival Nov 2, 2016, 4 pm - 10 pm;
Where: Workshops at multiple locations (see website), Exhibit at Self Help Graphics, 1300 E. 1st St, LA 90033. Festival at Felicitas and Mendez Learning Center (across from Self Help Graphics), 1200 Plaza Del Sol, Boyle Heights, CA 90033, Procession leaves Mariachi Plaza at 4 pm to walk to the event site.
Cost: Free (donations welcome)
Metro Gold line to Pico/Aliso Stop (limited paid parking on site)
Info: www.selfhelpgraphics.com, (323) 881-6444
Dia de los Muertos Noche de Ofrenda at Grand Park
Part of the Self-Help Graphics celebration, the Noche de Ofrenda at Grand Park will include a blessing of 50 altars created by local partners, artists and non-profit groups, music, poetry, theatre and dance. The altars will stay on display through November 5, with free lunchtime tours available.
When: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 7 - 10 pm, altar display through Nov 5,
Where: Grand Park, 200 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Parking: Pay lot under the park, other pay lots in the area, limited street meters
Metro Red Line to Civic Center Station
Info: www.selfhelpgraphics.com, grandparkla.org, (323) 881-6444
Old Pasadena Day of the Dead
Old Pasadena is celebrating Day of the Dead with three days of self-guided tours of dozens of altars created by local businesses culminating on Sunday with an afternoon Family Fiesta with music, dance, storytelling and face painting, and an evening film screening of The Book of Life. Location: Altar tour is throughout Old Pasadena; Family Fiesta will be in the Metro Right of Way Alley between Holly Street and Colorado Blvd., 100 E. Union Street
Date: Altar tour Oct 28-30, Family Fiesta Oct 30, 2-6 pm, Movie 7 pm
Día de los Muertos Festival at the Museum of Latin American Art
Family festival featuring a Dis de los Muertos Art and Altar exhibit, with art-making workshops, performances and a costume contest.
MoLAA is also holding three after-school Day of the Dead craft workshops Wednesday through Friday and a Thursday night Dia de los Muertos cocktail mixing event.
When: Festival Oct 30, 2016, 11 am - 5 pm, Workshops, Wed-Fri, 3:30 - 5 pm drop in
Where: 628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802
Parking: Free lot
Metro: Blue Line to 5th Street, bus 94 from 6th St or free Passport bus to museum.
Cost: Festival - Free, Workshops included in admission of $10 adults, $7 students/seniors, Free for kids under 12
More on the Museum of Latin American Art
San Pedro Dia de los Muertos
San Pedro celebrates Day of the Dead with a street party featuring live entertainment, an altar competition, food court and kids' corner.
When: October 30, 2016, 3-9 pm
Where: 398 West 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731, between 6th and Centre and 6th and Pacific.
Santa Monica Dia de los Muertos at Woodlawn Cemetery
The City of Santa Monica hosts a free family celebration of life and death at Woodlawn Cemetery including an opening procession and ceremonial blessing followed by traditional Mexican music, storytelling, craft workshops and food for purchase.
When: October 30, 2016, 12-4 pm
Where: Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 14th St, Santa Monica, CA
Cost: Free admission and bike valet,
Parking: free parking & shuttle at Santa Monica College on Pico between 16th and 17th
24th Street Theatre Dia de los Muertos Block Party
A celebration of those who have passed on, including art, music, dance and calaveras puppet theatre and food at the 24th Street Theatre. It includes a procession from the corner of 24th Street and Magnolia to the Theatre
When: November 2, 2016, 6-10 pm
Where: 24th Street Theatre, 1117 West 24th Street, Los Angeles, CA
The Downey Dia de los Muertos Art Festival
Downey's Day of the Dead festivities include screenings of cult favorite Macario,
the quintessential Dia de Los Muertos movie, and Book of Life; “make & take”papel picado
luminarias, sugar skull decorating, continuous music in the zocolo, ballet
folklorico, altars on display, face painting, food trucks, shopping and more.
When: Sunday, Oct 30, 2016, 11 am – 8 pm
Where: 8435 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA
Cost: Free Admission
Parking: Free Parking at the Civic Center and Downey High school
Info: (562) 861-8211 http://ddlm.downeytheatre.org
Dia de los Muertos at with Culture Clash at Valley Performing Arts Center
Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza lead the LA-based Culture Clash, "shining a light on the brown rainbow and giving voice to the voiceless" and satirizing the election season in Vote or Die Laughing.
When: Nov 1, 2016, 8 pm
Where: alley Performing Arts Center at CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330
Parking: $7 online or on site
Dia de los Muertos at La Habra Children's Museum
Kids can decorate sugar skulls and make calavera masks. There will also be traditional face painting.
When: Sunday, Nov 6, 2016, 1 pm and 3:15 pm time slots, limited admission for each
Where: La Habra Children's Museum, 301 S. Euclid St, La Habra, CA 90631
Cost: Free, a limited number of hand stamps are given for museum admission
Dia de Los Muertos in Orange County
Dia de Los Muertos at Segerstrom Center
Segerstrom Center for the Arts will celebrate Día de los Muertos with performances by Perla Batalla, La Santa Cecilia, Pacifico Dance and Quetzal.
When: November 2, 2016, 7:30 pm, pre-show activities and food trucks at 6 pm
Where: Segerstrom Center Center, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA
Dia de los Muertos at Pretend City
Bring a photo of your loved one to add to the altar and join in educational activities for Day of the Dead.
When: Tuesday, Nov 1, 2016, 11 am - 3 pm
Where: Pretend City, 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618
Cost: $12.50 anyone over 12 mos, Military & Family $9.50
Noche de Altares in Santa Ana
Everyone in the community is invited to come together to build their altars to deceased loved ones or to bring awareness to social issues. The altar building and viewing is accompanied by cultural performances, art workshops, face painting, food vendors and more.
When: Saturday, Nov 5, 2016, 12-10 pm
Where: 4th and Birch, Santa Ana CA 92706
More on the Bowers Museum
Dia de los Muertos at the Bowers Museum
Calavera face-painting, crafts, music, dancing and traditional foods in the courtyard of the Bowers Museum in Orange County.
When: Sunday, Nov 6, 2016, 11 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Bowers Museum Courtyard and Kidseum, 2002 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Parking: $6, additional parking across the street
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