When it comes to celebrating, Mexicans are experts… Even after someone dies, Mexicans still party for them and with them. And to make things better… since 1960, the party has been a National Holiday – HA!
When I started going to school, I was told about the different assignments we would have during the year, one of them being “The day of the dead”. I was quite confused, especially since that didn’t seem like homework at all and… I was right. It was the best assignment ever!
The teacher would ask us to choose a dead person; we would create an altar using many items: pictures of the deceased, fruit, “Pan de Muerto”, candles, sugar skulls and flowers. After finishing our altar we would have judges come by and decide which group would win the contest. It was quite fun!
I never had anyone to celebrate “Day of the Dead” with until I was 16, after that this became my favorite holiday for sure (as weird as that sounds), it’s a family reunion very much like Thanksgiving but more fun, because you include in the celebration your deceased friends and family. It’s a party for them, letting them know that you still remember them, honor them, and love them. It is also a celebration of the cycle of life that removes the fear of death, embracing it as part of a cycle. This mystical night is for celebration, not sorrow. Being sad would mean being rude to your loved ones that are visiting from very far away.
Northern Mexican traditions are somewhat different than those in the south of Mexico. For us, it’s a more relaxed holiday. We pretty much have a picnic at the cemetery. We decorate and clean the graves, sit by them, and enjoy family and neighbors (you have “cemetery” neighbors that you see every year☺).
Fortunately, this Mexican tradition has become very popular and even if you don’t live in Mexico you can celebrate it at “The Hollywood Forever Cemetery”, which is the only cemetery in United States that offers this.
It all starts when you begin walking to the cemetery, you hear the laughs, the music, and you kindly smell Marigold flowers and incense… The cemetery is waiting for you, lively and colorful, receiving you in this magical night.
Once there, you can get your face painted as a famous “Catrina”, get some flowers for your head just like Frida Kahlo wore or simply sit by a grave and watch the almost fashion show from people that wear “Day of the Dead” costumes.
When it comes to food and drinks, you will find a variety of selections to choose from. It is so good and makes you feel as though you’re right in Mexico (bring cash, most places don’t take card).
Enjoy the different altars, art galleries, shops, and souvenirs. Take some cool pics. Enjoy the mariachi. Watch native Mexican dances and concerts.
That’s right! There are concerts.
This year the Colombian band “Aterciopelados” will be there (they are amazing!)
See you at the “Hollywood Forever Cemetery”!
My Dress is Vintage but here are other options for you!
Here is more Info about the Event:
Date of the Event: Saturday 28th, 2017
Location: Hollywood Forever Cemetery 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038
General Admission: $20
You can purchase your tickets online here
Interesting fact: In 2008, this tradition was listed by the UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.