October 27, 2021
El Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is celebrated between Nov. 1 and 2 in Mexico as a way to honor dead ancestors and loved ones.
Philadelphia will host a few community events to celebrate the holiday, which originated hundreds of years ago in Mexico and northern Central America. It is a blend of Aztec, Mayan, Toltec and Catholic traditions.
People build altars in their homes adorned with candles and orange and yellow flowers. They leave 'ofrendas,' or offerings, to their loved ones, like tamales, chilis, water, tequila and pan de muerto, a special bread. Families read letters and poems and tell stories about the dead.
The Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center worked with the city to set up a Day of the Dead altar in LOVE Park. Made by Mexican artist Cesar Viveros, the altar will remain in the park until Tuesday.
Here are some local events taking place in Philadelphia this year:
Miranda Blas, a multimedia artist and educator, is hosting Picnic n' Paint, an outdoor art workshop, on Friday from 2-5 p.m.
Blas will guide the group to paint a Day of the Dead art piece inspired by Frida's "Día de los Muertos."
The group will learn new techniques and paint with acrylics. Art supplies, picnic decor, sodas and gourmet snacks will be provided to each participant. Tickets are $50 per person.
The Fleisher Art Memorial's volunteer committee of Mexican Philadelphians, La Calaca Flaca, are hosting the 2021 celebration Saturday beginning at 4:30 p.m.
There will be a procession down Eighth Street to Geno's Steaks and back down Ninth Street, as well as mask painting, candle decorating workshops and a craft fair and fashion show.
This year's celebration will focus on honoring women as "leaders, mothers and mentors," Billy Penn reported.
On Sunday, Mexican writer José Carlos Pérez Sámano will lead a three-and-a-half mile bike ride from South Philadelphia to LOVE Park from 5 to 7 p.m. Participants are encouraged to dress as Catrinas or Calaveras and decorate their bikes with Day of the Dead accessories.
Sámano will teach riders about the Day of the Dead at the altar in LOVE Park. Participants are welcome to bring their own bikes or use an Indego. RSVP to email@example.com.