Many have heard of the holiday Day of the Dead but are not sure what it is or have misconceptions about it. The holiday El Dia de los Muertos, a traditional holiday from Latin America takes place each year on November the 1st and the 2nd. Some of the many countries you will see large celebrations in are: Mexico, Bolivia, India, El Salvador and even the United States. This holiday focuses on remembering and paying tribute to loved ones that you have lost. It is a way to honor our past and celebrate our future. Ways they honor the deceased are by building an altar in their home, and also to decorate their grave and offer food and treats. In many countries they will even spend the night at the cemetery to remember their loved ones.
The main belief of this holiday is that on these two days the dead return home to visit their loved ones and to feast on their favorite foods. Different countries celebrate this two day celebration in many different ways. It is not a somber holiday, it is a way to honor our friends and loved ones that are gone and celebrate life through music, theatre, dance, food and arts and crafts. It is a wonderful opportunity for those who are not familiar with this holiday to learn how other countries celebrate what they also call All Souls Day. Here in Houston we have a large Hispanic and Latin population, here are some places where you can learn about and celebrate the Day of the Dead holiday.
MECA – Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts
1900 Kane Street
Houston, Texas 77007
This multi-cultural arts center located near downtown Houston in the sixth ward has been operating since 1977. They are holding their annual Day of the Dead celebration on Saturday October 30th, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Sunday October the 31st, Halloween from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. You will find on their Website an application to create an altar to honor a loved one you have lost. They are also accepting applications for artist to display their original artwork at the festival, and for groups or individuals to perform.
Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77002
Located near downtown Houston on Main street in the museum district you will find Lawndale Art Center. They will be celebrating El Dia De Los Muertos from October 18th until November 16th. This year is their 23rd year presenting events like art, music and exhibits for the Day of the Dead holiday. Lawndale supports local artists and students by giving them the chance to showcase art in a non-juried, open call exhibition. They want to help everyone to understand the Mexican practices and rituals that are associated with this holiday. Their main goal is to raise cultural awareness about the Mexican-American heritage surrounding the Day of the Dead while honoring our family that has gone before us.
7979 North Eldridge Road
October the fourth, 2010 this large open-air flea market is having their fourth annual Day of the Dead celebration. You will find one of the largest and most visited flea markets in Houston on the northwest side of town. Entrance to the public is free, and parking is $3.00 per car. At this celebration you will find vendors featuring traditional Day of the Dead art, merchandise, food and drinks. On the Pepsi concert stage they will have authentic Mexican music and dancing. You will also be able to view altars and art by Houston-based Latino artists.