The end of October and early November is the time of dressing up for Halloween and celebrating Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Los Angeles boasts one of the largest Mexican-American populations outside of Mexico and a great place to celebrate the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. Day of the Dead celebrates All Souls Day on the first two days of November. Families create brightly decorated altars and party at cemeteries to celebrate their ancestor’s souls. Since the holiday falls right after Halloween its celebrated both before and after the traditional end-of-October fright night. Here’s a guide to places where you can celebrate Day of the Dead in LA:
Hollywood Forever Cemetery: This year their 11th annual celebration will be on the day before Halloween Saturday October 30. The theme is both the Centennial Revolution and Independence Bicentennial and revelers are encouraged to wear outfits reflecting these historical events. There will be an altar contest, live performances and judging for best skeleton costume. Cost $10 from 2 pm – 12 midnight.
Location: 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
Olvera Street: Will have Novenario processions at the El Pueblo Historical Monument from October 25 – November 2 at 7 pm nightly. There will be traditional pan de muerto (bread) and champurrado (a thick, hot chocolate-type drink). The “Fiesta Muertos” will be October 30 – 31 from noon to 6 pm.
Location: 845 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles
Self Help Graphics: Their multi-day event is themed Revolution without Borders (Revolucion sin Fronteras) this year. The main event is November 2 at the East Los Angeles Civic Center 4801 East 3rd Street, East L.A. from 5 pm – 11 pm. There will be live music, altars and food. Their main exhibition “Better to Die on My Feet” will show from October 29 – November 27 with the opening reception October 29 from 7 pm -9 pm
Location: Self Help Graphics & Art 3802 Cesar Chavez Ave. East L.A.
The Folk Tree: Are currently hosting their 27th annual Day of the Dead Altars & Ephemera from October 9 – November 6. Locals have created altars for the viewing public. There’s also jewelry and folk art to be seen. This is actually located in Pasadena a suburb northeast of LA proper but worth the trek.
Location: 217 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena
Hours: Mon-Wed 11 am – 6 pm, Thurs – Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun noon – 5 pm
Goya Festival del Gente: This large outdoor street fair was cancelled last year and this year’s festival is also questionable. Their website (festivaldelgente.org) is out of commission. Past celebrations have included arts and crafts, kids activities and live entertainment.
Location: Hollenbeck Park, 415 S. St. Louis Street Los Angeles
For Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City click here
For Day of the Dead celebrations in New York City click here
For Halloween celebrations in NYC click here