By Brent E. Beltrán
Every year on November 1st and 2nd we remember our dead. Give them food and things they appreciated while they were alive. We build altars in our homes. We share stories. Remember loved ones, family and friends, heroes and historical figures. We go to gravesites and clean tombstones and markers. Leave cempasúchils (marigolds) and sugar skulls. Maybe a little tequila if they liked a drink in their day. For the children we leave toys and candy.
November 1 is Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) when deceased children are honored and November 2 is known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where we pay tribute to adults who have passed away. These dates correspond with the Christian holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day. Though las días de los muertos were coopted by Christianity they are not Christian holidays or celebrations. Their history can be traced back thousands of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl.
This Day of the Dead my wife and I will visit Greenwood Cemetery where her grandmother and my grandparents forever rest. We will bring flowers. Maybe sing a song. Perhaps leave a glass of my nana’s favorite medicine (red wine). We will honor and pay tribute to our ancestors for they paved the way for us to be here. Sacrificed for our generation and future ones. We commemorate our dead. And we will always remember.
Throughout San Diego there are numerous events and celebrations commemorating Día de los Muertos. Some take place on November 1 and 2 while others take place this weekend. These are but a few that I think you should check out.
Centro Cultural de la Raza
2004 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park
Oct 26 – Grand opening reception for the Arte de los Muertos exhibit from 7-10pm. The exhibit runs until Nov 6.
Oct 26-27 – Muertos Market Place, buy Día de los Muertos items from 10am-4pm.
Oct 27 – Muertos in the Park – Music, Danza Azteca, children’s craft workshops and more 11am-3pm.
Oct 27 – Dead at Night – Music, Spoken Word, face painting and more from 7-10pm.
Call (619) 235-6135 for more info.
Logan Ave. and Cesar Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan
Nov 1 – Build a community ofrenda at the Chicano Park Kiosco from 6-9pm. Bring items to include on the altar.
Sherman Heights Community Center
2258 Island Ave
Oct 27–28 – Muertos Weekend Celebration from 10am to 6pm. Featuring vendors, food, music and outdoor altars
Oct 27–Nov. 2 – Indoor Altars at the Sherman Heights Community Center from 10am to 8pm.
Oct 29 – Muertos Skull-Painting Workshop at 6pm
Nov 1 – Join the annual procession from Sherman Heights to Chicano Park. The procession will stop at different homes throughout the neighborhood to view various altars. Starts at 5:30pm.
Call (619) 232-5181 for more info.
The Roots Factory
1878 Main St. Barrio Logan
Oct 27 – Dia De Los Muertos art exhibit opening celebration will take place during “Barrio Art Crawl” and feature art, altars, vendors and live music by Los Hollywood and The Bloodflowers. Closing reception on Nov 2nd.
1835 Main St. Barrio Logan
Nov 1 – Post Sherman Heights Muertos Procession reception. After walking from Sherman Heights to Chicano Park stop by The Spot.
Nov 2 – Celebrate Dia de los Muertos from 5-10pm with a group art show featuring music, altars, face painting, food, art and much more. Feel free to come in traditional Dia De Los Muertos costume/makeup!!
For more info call (619) 566-6278.
147 W. San Ysidro Blvd.
Nov 1 – Día de los Muertos Art Exhibit Cocktail Reception Fundraiser from 6-10pm. Only $5 if you order online at http://muertosatthefront-
For more info call (619) 428-1115.
San Ysidro Civic Center
212 W. San Ysidro Blvd
Nov 2 – Honor your muertitos in San Ysidro! Ballet folklorico, ceremonia Danza Azteca, mariachi and altares! And of course free pan de muerto and champurrado from 5-8pm! Procession to The Front after program for viewing of Que Vivan Los Muertos Group Art Exhibition.
Brent E. Beltran is a third generation pocho that lives next door to Chicano Park in San Diego’s Barrio Logan. He’s the former publisher of Calaca Press, is married to Olympia Andrade Beltrán and is the proud father of Sandino “Dino” Tizoc Declan Beltrán. He’s an MMA junkie who likes to get his nerd on by watching superhero and sci-fi movies and tv shows while he’s not shouting at Republiklans for being blatant assholes and Democratas for being spineless chumps. He can be contacted through his Twitter handle @CalacaVato or on facebook.com/calacavato.
Brent E. Beltrán
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