Here’s your annual reminder that Dia de los Muertos is not “Mexican Halloween,” even though some aspects are similar, including the time of year. There’s a reverence behind Day of the Dead that Halloween never did and never will, possess. What we appreciate about the Dia de los Muertos 2022 events here, is that even though they take place on the same days and nights that Halloween events do (mostly this weekend– read our guide to Halloween nightlife HERE and Halloween haunts and happenings HERE), they all make efforts to educate about the celebration, which is driven by love and honor for our departed loved ones.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is definitely the ultimate place to celebrate the pageantry of Dia de Los Muertos. It’s 23rd installment is this Saturday, October 29 and they offer two events– “Día de los Muertos” and “Noche de los Muertos” both featuring cultural performances, live DJ sets (DJ Que Madre and DJ Hamvre), an art exhibition, Sabino Guisu’s “Zapotec Death Poems,” food, drinks and vendors. This year’s theme is focused on the Aztec Goddess of Fertility called Mayahuel– who’s driven by love, magic, and transformation. “Día de los Muertos” at H.F.C. (9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) is great for families. Tickets and info here. “Noche de los Muertos” (5 p.m. – 12 a.m.) is geared towards adults with live music, altar strolls, Aztec dancers and more. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood. Tickets here. More information on both can be found at ladayofthedead.com.
Grand Park has been accepting contributions to its community altar in downtown L.A. all week and this weekend you can get a good look (or add your own remembrances). The 12 day public art installation honoring Day of The Dead in Los Angeles is always a sight to behold and it’s a beautiful way to commemorate a past away family member, friend or pet… plus it’s free. It’s also another way to celebrate Grand Park’s 10th anniversary and learn about professional Angeleno artists and local community organizations including Self Help Graphics, who partner on the event. Open now thru Nov. 2; 5:30 a.m. 10 p.m. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Avenue, Downtown L.A. More info at grandparkla.org.
Beachy vibes, colorful calaveras and bountiful florals take up three blocks of the Third Street Promenade’s Día de los Muertos celebration hosted by Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. Running Fri., Oct. 28 through Wed., Nov. 2, they’ll have live performances and giant La Catrina sculptures by artist Ricardo Soltero. Ranging in size up to 14 feet high, the sculptures are renditions of the original Catrina illustrations by Mexican illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada. There will be a performance by Santa Monica Ballet Folklorico on Sun. Oct. 30 at 6 pm., too. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 1300 block of the Promenade. More info at downtownsm.com
Self Help Graphics’ 49th Annual Dia de los Muertos season has been underway all month, with workshops, exhibits, altars and fiestas, and there’s still more to enjoy now thru Nov. 23. The exhibition, “Canciones de ti,” curated by Adriana Carranza and Alfonso Aceves (Kalli Arte Collective) is a must see. There’s also their annual Noche de Ofrenda to look forward to on Wed., Nov. 2 and their popular free Día de los Muertos festival curated by historic Boyle Heights music venue The Paramount, on Sat., Nov. 5 from 4 -10 p.m., features a cultural market and street food vendors. 1300 E. 1st St. LA. selfhelpgraphics.com/diadelosmuertos
Worth a drive to L.A.’s outskirts, non-profit Bordando Nuestras Raíces has partnered with the Secretary of Tourism and Secretary of Culture of the state of Michoacán, Mexico for a muertos event spotlighting traditional dishes and customs. Activities include: music and dance performances, a local vendor’s market, a Michoacán food hall, art exhibits, an altars competition for kids, a Catrina competition, Forever21 clothing and accessories donation booth and beer garden by The Derby Room. Railway Museum, 2201 S. A St., Perris, CA; Sun., Oct. 30, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. More info at bnrca.org
The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) celebrates Day of the Dead with performances by three dance companies, plus face painting, sugar skull painting, tattoo artists, a Catrina/Catrin costume contest and a screening of The Book of Life and more. Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach; Sun., Oct/ 30, 11:00 a.m – 8: 15 p.m. molaa.org/2022_dod
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