Saturday, October 25, 2014

Finding 2014 Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations in the Southwest U.S.

With it's proximity to Mexico, there is no wonder that the southwest U.S. is rich with Day of the Dead observances. There are many celebrations to choose from in 2014.

What is Day of the Dead or, Dia de los Muertos? At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Catholic feast of All Saints Day (November 1st) was combined with the traditions and festivities that were long-time customs of the indigenous people. 

While traditions may have changed in different geographical locations, the religious (Catholic) fact is that November 1st is All Saints Day and November 2nd is All Souls Day.

Our current Dia de los Muertos has evolved from these traditions. You may see people decorating an altar in their home with sugar skulls, flowers, candles and photos of those who have passed. I'll be looking for celebrants in the local Catholic cemetery where it is traditional to clean and decorate the graves of family members.

A wonderful place to be during Dia de los Muertos is in Oaxaca, Mexico where the festivities take on a colorful carnival atmosphere. If you can't be in Mexico during the colorful and reverent display of love for the departed, you can enjoy these festivities in the American southwest.

Tucson: The weird and wonderful All Souls Procession is not to be missed. The University area and downtown area will be alive with the departed, ghosts and skeletons in a procession where visitors can join in. The All Souls Procession  is Sunday, November 9th, 2014.

Here are more 2014 Day of the Dead observances:
Sedona, Arizona  Celebrates at Tlaquepaque
November 1-2, 2014
Join Tlaquepaque in Patio del Norte and Patio las Campanas  to make an offering at the Celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Music, food and beautiful altars will be on view starting at 4:30 p.m.
Free to the public. More Information:

Phoenix, Arizona Day of the Dead at the Desert Botanical Garden
Now - November 2, 2014
Exhibition of Ofrendas
- View Ofrenda or Offering installations by local and renowned artists at the Garden.
October 30, 2014 

Cuisine and Culture of Día de los Muertos
- A deliciously interactive evening as the garden unveils the secrets and cultural traditions of Día de los Muertos. More Information:

Santa Fe, New Mexico - Museum of International Folk Art
Saturday November 1, 2014
Dia de Muertos  Ofrenda
5:00-7:00 pm

The public is cordially invited to join us in making the Community altar "Ofrenda" in the Outdoor classroom. Bring a picture or other memento you do not need back to add your loved one to the community altar. Enjoy music by Mariachi Buenaventura and refreshments. The FREE event is for all ages.

Sunday November 2, 2014

Dia de Los Muertos
Day of the Dead
1 to 4pm

Decorate Sugar skulls, make memory boxes/muertos nichos, enjoy live music and Aztec dance performance by Danza MeXiKa and sample pan de muerto. All by Museum admission, New Mexico residents FREE every Sunday.

Santa Fe, New Mexico Plaza Mercado
Saturday, November 1st
Los Muertos Fine Art Works is celebrating withe the ‘Los Muertos’ Day of the Dead Art Show & Celebration on Saturday, November 1st from 2 to 8pm at the La Fontana Flamenco Studio in Santa Fe Plaza Mercado. It will be an afternoon and evening filled with art, live performances, refreshments, raffle prizes and a lot of fun.