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How to Celebrate Día de Los Muertos Online and IRL

(LA Trend) — Día de Los Muertos is the celebration of life and a time to pay homage to departed friends and relatives. Although it bears some similarities to Halloween, this two-day celebration is a holiday all its own. Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is mainly celebrated in Mexico and parts of south and central America. Families traditionally make ofrendas or altars to welcome deceased family and friends back to the world of the living for one night.

Far from being a somber occasion, these altars are tributes to life and may include the person’s favorite food, photos of the departed, and items associated with their life. The living may feast on pan de muerto or bread of the dead, sugar skulls, and other festive dishes. Many people dress up as calaveras or catrinas with skeleton face paint, flowers, and formal or traditional clothes. La Catrina was made famous by a 1947 mural painted by Diego Rivera and is known as the elegant skeleton decked out in traditional clothes and adorned with flowers.

Los Angeles is home to many exciting and eclectic Día de Los Muertos celebrations. Check out these online and socially-distanced in-person events to celebrate the holiday.

Celebrate with a live stream from the cemetery of the stars on November 1. The Forrest Lawn cemetery in Glendale will broadcast ballet folklorico performances, a Bob Baker Marionette Theater puppet show, a bilingual ceremony, and much more during this free two-hour event.

Take a stroll down Third Street Promenade and the pier in Santa Monica to experience the city’s temporary public art installation from October 31-November 2. Snap photos with fourteen-foot catrinas by artist Ricardo Soltero. These colorful and cheerful skeletons are made from paper-mâché, wood, fiberglass, recycled materials. Visit nine sculptures at Third Street Promenade and four at the Santa Monica Pier.

Self Help Graphics & Art in Boyle Heights has been celebrating Día de Los Muertos for over 40 years. Although their location is not currently open to the public, you can virtually tour their art gallery’s Ofrendas 2020 exhibit and participate in online craft workshops starting on October 8. Tune in for a live stream performance on November 1 and have fun with free Instagram filters all month long.

Self Help is also partnering with Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles where eleven large-scale altars are available for socially-distanced viewing. These community altars were created by local organizations like the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, Community Power Collective, Mi Estori: Artist Collective, among others. Six kites will be installed at the splash pad in Grand Central Park to represent the six migrant children who have died in ICE custody. Visit these installations in person or take the audio tour at home.

Experience Downey’s annual Día de Los Muertos celebration en casa this year on November 1. Enjoy art exhibits, ballet folklorico performances, mariachi music, and much more. In the meantime, check out craft and cooking tutorials, online art exhibits, and photo galleries.

Listen to music by Maldita Vecindad, Panteon Rococo, Fabulosos Cadillacs, and two special guests at an outdoor event in Bell Gardens on October 30. Enjoy music, dancing, and food for just $10. Event organizers, Los Hijos Desobedientes, remind everyone that masks are required and if they’re calavera masks all the better.

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