Monday, August 19, 2019
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20181024 CityofMission STA by Charlie IMG 0778Halloween is traditionally known as a night of mischief, horror and costumes.

Dia de los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead”, isn't a Mexican version of Halloween, even though it does deal with the dead, calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls), and there are plenty of sweets to be shared – usually decorated as calacas and calaveras.
However, Dia de los Muertos is about celebrating life; specifically the lives of loved ones who have deceased.

Originated in Mexico thousands of years ago with the Aztecs and others, but now celebrated all over Latin America, Dia De Los Muertos is recognized Nov. 1-2 (another similarity to Halloween's Oct. 31 tradition and during the Catholic faith's All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls Day on Nov. 2). The traditions portray the belief that during this celebration those who have gone on to their eternal sleep awaken to celebrate with loved ones.

Families will create personalized altars to celebrate the lives of these loved ones. These altars are not ones of worship but ones to remember their loved ones. Family members will adorn them with figurines, photos, candles, sugar skull masks, water and more. The water is meant to quench the thirst during the during the deceased's long journey back to celebrate.

The calavera Catrina is the most iconic figure in Dia de los Muertos. Originally a wealthy and elegant, well-dressed woman, Catrina symbolizes being able to laugh at death itself. Catrina also symbolizes that everyone is equal, that underneath the layers or jewelry and expensive clothing, that death is an equalizer, and everyone is equal in the end.

20181024 MHM DOD Catrine 1280x671There are several events throughout the Rio Grande Valley that celebrate Dia de los Muertos. From museums to community centers to libraries and more. Following is a glance at some of these events.

Mission Historical Museum will hold its annual Dia de los Muertos Family Festival from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at the museum, located at 900 Doherty in Mission.

The colorful celebration will feature live entertainment, artisan vendors, face painting and children's activities. There will be food including tacos de bistec, trompo, espiropapas (spiraled potatoes), funnel cakes, hamburgers, gorditas and more. There will also be a special altar contest from the community curated altar exhibit. Admission is free.

Following is the entertainment schedule for the Mission Historical Museum's De de Los Muertos Family Festival:
6:30 p.m. The Crescendo Music Institute
7 p.m. Raul Fabre and Kimberly Jane
7:30 p.m. Sharyland High School Mariachi Nuevo Cascabel
8 p.m. City of Mission's Parks and Recreation Folklorico
9 p.m. Stilt Dancers
9:30 p.m. Ballet Folklorico UTRGV

Edinburg Arts will “pay homage” to Dia de los Muertos with “Los Muertos Bailan” beginning at 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard, located at 415 W. University Dr.

The event will feature a Catrin and Catrina Costume Contest with adult and children categories. There will be approximately 100 exhibitors plus food and drinks. The festival will also feature Mexican artisans with authentic hand-crafted work, themed artistic paintings, live music, crafts and other costume contests.

The Phoenix Gallery, located at 10 S. Main St. in McAllen will present its Día de los Muertos art exhibit on from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. Artwork will be presented from 16 different artists: Chelsea Fedigan, Clarissa Anne Zarate, Ismael Salinas, Lorena Vela, Gabriel Trevino, Sandra Urie, Reynaldo Alvarado, Monica Ramirez, Jose Garcia, Gigi Morales, Delvis Cortez, Edna Escobedo, Turgo Rojare, Fany Mares Potter, Jason Perez and Lisa Carlisle. There will be complementary beverages and appetizers, along with live music.

Lark Branch Library, located at 2601 Lark Ave. in McAllen, will have special performances by Palmview High School's Mariachi “Los Lobos” and Folklorico Groupo “Ozomatli” from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1 Admission is free.

20181024 MHM DOD dancerMuseum of South Texas History, located at 200 N. Closner Blvd. in Edinburg, will hold Dia de los Muertos: Calaveras y Ofrendas from 4 p.m.- 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. There will be altar exhibits, food vendors with options including elote, pan dulce, champurrado, tacos and the food truck Qweenie. There will also be handmade crafts to view and purchase. Visitors can also purchase sugar skulls to decorate.

There will also be plenty of entertainment. See schedule below:
4:00 p.m. Edinburg North High School Mariachi
4:20 p.m. Totome & Conceptos Entidad Dancistica
4:50 p.m. Edinburg Folklorico Dance Team
5:00 p.m. PSJA Dance Groups
5:10 p.m. RGV Folklorico Dance Company
5:20 p.m. Veronique Medrano
6:00 p.m. Grupo Folklorico Juvenil de Palmview &
Las Palmas Community Center Ballet Folkorico
6:20 p.m. Melenie Gonzalez
6:40 p.m. Grupo Folklorico Herence de mi Tierra from La Joya ISD
6:40 p.m. Edinburg North High School Ritmo Dorado
6:40 p.m. Mission Parks and Recreation Ballet Folklorico
6:40 p.m. Danzart Centro Dancistico

The Old Hidalgo Pumphouse and the World Birding Center will present a Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, located at 902 S. 2nd St. in Hidalgo from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.

The celebration will honor of Frida Khalo, a Mexican artist who painted many portraits and works inspired by nature and Mexico artifacts. Her art often mixed reality with fantasy and she has sometimes been described as a magical realist. She died in 1954 at the age of 47.

A parade will kick off the celebration at 4 p.m. The parade route will end at the Pumphouse and the festival will begin at 5 p.m. The animated film Coco will also be shown. Coco which features young, aspiring musican Miguel who is confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music. He enters the Land of the Dead during Dia de los Muertos in search of his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.
There will also be food, arts, crafts, decorated altars and entertainment. To participate, or for more information, call (956) 843-8686.

The International Museum of Art and Science, located at 1900 Nolana Ave. in McAllen, will hold a Dia de los Muertos Festival from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.

There will be hands-on art and science activities and several community altars to view. There will be special events, artisan vendors and snack truck from 4 - 8 p.m.

The IMAS and UTRGV lecture series will present “Skulls and Tzompantli in Popular Culture” by UTRGV Professor Servando Z Hinojosa at 5 p.m.

There will also be special Sugar Skull Workshops at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The 45-minute interactive workshop is $5 per person and each participant will be able to decorate a sugar skull to take home. Maricahi Nuevo Cascabel will perform from 6:30 - 7 p.m.
The event is included in the general admission price, which is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors age 55 and older and students, and $4 for children ages 4-12. Call (956) 681-2800 for more information or to register for the Sugar Skull workshop.

The Historic Downtown Brownsville Pub Crawls will host a Dia de los Muertos Festival from 4 p.m. - midnight Friday, Nov. 2 in downtown historic Brownsville. There will be local music, food, altars and a Catrina contest.

Music and performances will be held at the Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center.
7 p.m. Pata Con La Kalaka and Reynas de Saba
8 p.m. La Klika
10 p.m. Fara Fara (and a Catrin and Catrina Contest)
11 p.m. Santa Calavera and Latin Ska Orchestra.
For more information call Juan Castillo at (956) 640-3173 or Daniel Alvarado at (956) 372-1550.

The Brownsville Historical Association, in partnership with the Consul of Mexico at Brownsville is holding an exhibition entitled Remember Me: Celebrating Dia de los Muertos. The exhibit will be held at the Brownsville Heritage Museum, located at 1335 E. Washington St., in the Vezzetti Room. The exhibit runs through Saturday, Nov. 2. Decorated altars will feature calaveras, cempazuchitls (marigolds), papel picado, foods and personal items to welcome the returning spirits during this holiday. The muesum is open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The exhibit is included with paid admission. Call (956) 548-1313 for more information.

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