Friday, October 26, 2012

DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS EVENTS TAKE ON A LIFE OF THEIR OWN

By Adolfo Flores, Los Angeles Times

Dia de los Muertos is anything but dead, and it's increasingly coming to life in Southern California in old and new ways.

With Mexico's traditional Day of the Dead approaching, the number and kinds of events are growing in the Southland. Concert promoters, art galleries featuring Mexican folk art and merchants — big and small — are taking advantage of these celebrations and in some cases extending the merchandising of Halloween.

Once observed quietly in Latino communities, U.S. festivities are becoming more mainstream and, typically, louder and more visible than in years past. Corporations are getting more involved as sponsors and participants. Theme parks are adding Latino touches to their Halloween attractions. Party stores have amped up their offerings. And bakeries are already cooking up special treats.


Dia de los Muertos Events

There's no better place to see this growing U.S. interest than at Hollywood Forever Cemetery's 13th annual Dia de los Muertos festival on Saturday October 27th, 2012. It includes a traditional procession, musical performances and more than 100 homemade altars

Another major celebration takes place Friday Nov. 2nd in Boyle Heights, sponsored by the Boyle Heights art center Self Help Graphics & Art with co-sponsors such as Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures Entertainment. It's one of the longest-running Day of the Dead celebrations in the nation, and for years it has also featured an elaborate procession, this year starting in Mariachi Plaza. The art center also has displays with life-size papier-mache skeletons.

Before the Los Angeles event started in the early 1970s it was mostly celebrated at local homes, but Mexican American artists saw the holiday as an opportunity to explore their identity, Self Help Graphics Executive Director Evonne Gallardo said.

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