Boyle Heights art studio keeping Dia de los Muertos tradition alive

Buddy Holly Center Presents Día de los Muertos Workshop on Saturday October 28

Buddy Holly Center

There are brightly colored sugar skulls, orange marigolds that adorn altars for dead family members, and miniature or even life-sized depictions of "La Calavera Catrina" by late Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada.

The sugar skull is widely recognized as a symbol of Dia De Los Muertos, but where did it come from?

Her almost yearlong quest for answers led to the creation of this year's Day of the Dead exhibit at the Hayward Area Historical Society museum, which breaks down the meaning behind holiday rituals and symbols. "I think it is a really important thing for everyone to do because everyone has a different way of doing it".

Guests at the third annual Dia de los Muertos festivities at Strathearn Historical Park and Museum will encounter some familiar sights as well as a few new attractions.

Martinez Dia De Los Muertos and Festival of Altars is a collaboration of Artcelerator and the Martinez Arts Association, with face painting by Citrus Salon. Those Aztec elements were then merged with Roman Catholic beliefs to coincide with All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2.

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Get ready to take your kids to a fun, family event to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.

The 2pm concert features Mexican cultural icon Eugenia León with the San Francisco Symphony for a family-friendly performance conducted by Alondra de la Parra.

Community members are invited to participate by building and decorating their own altars for a Community Altar Contest. They can be as elaborate as you want them to be. Tickets include food, drinks, music and an art auction. Places like libraries also host educational events. Many head to the cemetery and decorate the graves of those who have passed and others pray and put up and decorate altars within their homes.

One of the things San Antonio residents love about the city is the spectacular culture and tradition. One woman in Oxnard dedicates "a massive altar" every year to her mother, he said.

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