As we recover from the big night, let’s expand our Halloween experience a few more days with a multicultural vibration. Learn about Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, as observed by Mexicans and many Latin cultures. It is not Halloween, but includes similar elements such as sculls, colorful costumes and parades. It is traditionally held on November 1 and 2 to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.
Many communities and families spread out the holiday through October and November. Dia de los Muertos is a time to remember family members who have passed away. Whole communities and individual families build altars and adorn them with special foods, flowers, candles and grinning skeletons. It is a joyful way to pay homage to ancestors without scaring the children.
Here are some free events: Mano a Mano, a Mexican cultural organization, has setup fun activities at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, today through-Sunday, November 3, times vary. They have recreated a traditional Mexican village churchyard and offer workshops for all ages including altar-building, paper flower making, poetry writing and bread baking. Bring photographs, candles and flowers to adorn the altar in honor of your deceased loved ones. Drop by to enjoy a memorable multicultural experience, that also includes musical performances and a traditional dance procession. Casa Puebla, 2710 Broadway at 104th Street, another noted Mexican cultural group, has installed a beautifully adorned altar and offers a special Dia de los Muertas gallery exhibit. National Museum of the American Indian-Day of the Dead, 1 Bowling Green, Saturday, November 2 noon-5pm. Visitors can make traditional crafts like paper flowers, plaster skulls and skull masks, and enjoy live dance performances by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa.