Once fall is in the air, I instantly get excited thinking about all the festive fun there is to come!
WHAT IS DIA DE LOS MUERTOS?
Halloween is my favorite American holiday to celebrate, but coming in at a very close second is Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican tradition which celebrates the life of our deceased friends and family dating back to the pre-Columbian era.
As a Bay Area resident of Mexican decent, I find myself particularly drawn to this age old tradition because it evokes the bringing together of community, family and friends, creativity, and festivities bursting with color, energy and lively spirit. Below are some wonderful ways folks can participate in Day of the Dead events in the Bay Area and beyond.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
- Celebrate Day of the Dead culture with one-of-a-kind handmade folk art from Mexico and Peru: The Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores in San Francisco and Berkeley just got in a beautiful assortment of traditional “calavera” (spanish for skeleton) art to help you make your own altar or decorate a Day of the Dead party. For folks outside the Bay Area, visit a Fair Trade Store near you.
- Create your own altar: To get started in creating your own altar, check out, “Build Your Own Fair Trade Dia de los Muertos Altar.”
- Consider experiencing Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico for yourself: Join Global Exchange’s Reality Tours 25th Anniversary trip to Oaxaca, Mexico where you will be given the opportunity to participate in festivities and join families in neighborhood cemeteries as they welcome home their ancestors.
BAY AREA DAY OF THE DEAD EVENTS
The lively streets of San Francisco’s Mission District hosts the largest Day of the Dead celebration held in the Bay Area, complete with live performances by local Aztec dance groups and local Bay Area marching bands and drum lines.
Folks from all walks of life come dressed in their spirited costumes for a precession that begins at 24th Street and Mission and concludes at Garfield Park. Upon arriving at the park, families and groups display their altars, or “ofrendas”, dedicated to pasted loved ones. It is truly touching to see the love and attention that goes into creating such elaborate and diverse altars.
- Oakland’s Fruitvale District holds a similar event during the day where local venders sell sugar skulls, folk art, and delicious treats. The streets are packed with smiling faces of all ages painted like skeletons. A beautiful display of cultural heritage and community!
So get ready to celebrate life in the here and now and after death with your fair trade and local community!
As Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie says, “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
- Want to learn more about Day of the Dead? Here’s more information about Dia De Los Muertos.
- Fair Trade Your Halloween: This year, Global Exchange is offering Fair Trade Halloween Action kits so you are fully equipped with the resources necessary to educate and take action in October. The kits are on sale until October 21 –or until we run out! Order yours today.
Posted on: October 17, 2013
Filed under: Global Exchange Store Updates