Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Preview

Dia de los Muertos performers

(L to R) Mariachi performer Simplemente Bella, poses with Emmanuel Martinez and Lisa Casimiro. All three will be part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration at Poncitlan Square on October 30th.

PALMDALE – The Antelope Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is inviting the entire community to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, a 3000-year-old Mexican tradition that reunites and honors beloved ancestors, family and friends.

“In Mexican culture, death does not yield a mysterious and fearful presence, but a realistic recognizable character as much a part of life as life itself,” said AVHCC Secretary Rodrigo Venegas. “Dia de los Muertos expresses these perspectives. It is not a morbid commemoration, but a happy and colorful celebration where death takes a lively, friendly expression and is not frightening or strange.”

Dia de los Muertos press conference

The AVHCC announce details of the Dia de los Muertos celebration at a press conference Thursday.

The Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, October 30th at Poncitlan Square in Palmdale. The event will feature lots of children’s activities, face painting, a hand drawn art contest, a variety of foods, and cultural dancers. There will also be special guests performances from Simplemente Bella (Simply Beautiful), Grupo Basucazo, and Banda Sensacion Del Valle.

“This is a great opportunity to discover,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford.

Dia de los Muertos 2

Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford joins members of AVHCC and Dia de los Muertos performers.

“This gives us a better opportunity to understand each other and to embrace a tradition that is thousands of years old,” he added.

Organizers say the traditional Mexican celebration will feature something for everyone.

“You don’t have to be Spanish,” said Mark Petrosian, Dia de los Muertos Committee Chairman and owner of Pars Restaurant. “You can be any race or any color to come and enjoy your time that day.”

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the local Dia de los Muertos celebration, contact AVHCC at 661-538-0607 of visit www.avhcc.org. For more information on the Dia de los Muertos holiday, click here.

  3 comments for “Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Preview

  1. Matt Keltner
    October 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    yes, you should! Go at least once. Last time I went they had an altar decorating contest because altars are a traditional aspect of the celebration. It was pretty cool !

  2. Matt Keltner
    October 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I have been to some of these “Dia de los Muertos” celebrations at Poncitlan Square in the past. They are fun, lively and very colourful.

    I would encourage people who are into this tradition to study its roots and see how interesting it is. This festival, like so many others in Autumn, actually traces back to the Celtic people in Europe who celebrated a Druidic feat called “Samhain” this time of year. Samhain was the end of the year in Celtic culture and the day to honour the dead. When Catholicism swept across Europe, it absorbed many of the customs of the pre-Christian European people, such as the Celts, and included them into its liturgy. “Samhain” became “All Halos Eve”, the day before “All Saints Day” on the Catholic calendar.

    The Spanish Conquistadors brought this European celebration to the Americas where it mixed with some of the indigenous Aztec and Mayan rituals, which they now call “Dia de los Muertos” in Mexico.

    Halloween came to the United States through Irish immigrants, who are actually direct descendents of the Celtic peoples of Europe, so this is where we see the connection between the two celebrations.

    • S. Parker
      October 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      Very interesting and insightful comment Matt! I might just shift my butt over to Poncitlan Square come Oct. 30 and have a look-see.

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