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Dia de Muertos – Roots & Traditions Concert
November 2, 2023
Join Paula Madrigal and the Ballard Civic Orchestra for Orquesta Northwest’s annual Dia de Muertos Concierto on Thursday, November 2nd at the National Nordic Museum in Ballard.
Featuring music by special guests Trio Guadalevin and soprano Viviana Garza, dance performances by Bailadores de Bronce and Joyas Mestizas, and artwork by Maria G. Casey, Dia de Muertos is an opportunity to honor our ancestors and loved ones with the community. Bring photos of those who have passed, and place them on the Altar de Muertos that will be present in the concert hall during the event.
Dia de Muertos:
The Day of the Dead is a deeply rooted Mexican cultural tradition that honors the deceased and celebrates the lives of those who have passed away. The beliefs and practices related to the Day of the Dead have their roots in pre-Columbian indigenous cultures, such as the Aztecs, and have been mixed with Catholic influences after the arrival of the Spanish.
Some prominent elements of the celebration include:
- Ofrendas (Offerings): Families create decorative altars in their homes or in cemeteries to remember their departed loved ones. These altars are adorned with flowers (especially marigolds, known as “flower of the dead”), candles, photographs of the deceased, personal items, and food and drinks they used to enjoy.
- Sugar Skulls and Pan de Muerto: Sugar skulls and pan de muerto, a special bread with skull or bone-shaped decorations, are made and placed on the altars and shared during family gatherings.
- Cemetery Visits: Families visit cemeteries to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones, often spending the night there to remember and honor the departed.
- Parades and Artistic Representations: In some regions of Mexico, there are parades and theatrical performances involving skulls and skeletons, including the famous “La Catrina,” created by artist José Guadalupe Posada.
- Music and Dance: Traditional music and dance also play a significant role in the festivities, with mariachis and other musical groups playing specific Day of the Dead songs.
- Catholicism and Indigenous Beliefs: The celebration combines Catholic elements, such as the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, with indigenous beliefs and practices related to life and death.
The Day of the Dead is a celebration that varies in form and style throughout Mexico, with different regions and communities having their own traditions and specific approaches. It is a vibrant, symbolic, and meaningful holiday that celebrates the relationship between the living and the dead, remembering those who have passed in an atmosphere of respect and joy.