While many in the United States celebrate Halloween on October 31, there is another observance that begins on the same day. From October 31 through November 2, many of Latino descent observe el Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. It is a Spanish tradition passed down through generations, dating back three thousand years to the Aztecs.
They believed that when someone died, they had to go through trials to end up resting in Mictlán, so people would make offerings and altars to help those passed find their way to eternal rest.
In modern times, the Day of the Dead is not what some people misinterpret as a Spanish Halloween, but it is a celebration of loved ones who have passed coming to visit their living family and friends.
Family grave sites are carpeted with flowers, liquor, sweets, and mariachi bands roam from headstone to headstone as they play their favorite tunes. At home, altars are adorned with the visiting spirit's favorite foods and drinks. The altars also include flowers, photographs, candles, and decorative sugar skulls in preparation for the day when a relative or friend will make the annual visit to Earth. Pan de Muerto (sugar-crusted sweet rolls) will be served in keeping with tradition.
AARP Texas will be honoring El Día de Los Muertos with events ranging from crafting your own ofrendas, culinary guides for heritage meals, and even face painting and baking that use symbols, such as skulls and skeletons, in a beautiful way.
"It is important for people to learn about El Día de Los Muertos because, through cultural understanding, we all become closer to one another," said Ismael Herrera. "That is why AARP is hosting many events that highlight Mexican culture and a way to teach the meaning behind the traditions.
AARP Texas will host events throughout the State celebrating El Día de Los Muertos. Events like culinary guides, learning to make ofrendas, and AARP Texas staff member Veronica de Lafuente and her mom Olga will show you how to get started. They will talk about the annual observance and the importance of these traditions. The multi-day annual observance focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and help support their spiritual journey. This event will be on October 28 from 1 PM- 1:30 PM.
Other Día de Los Muertos events include:
Monday, Jan 30, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
American Airlines Center
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Central Time
Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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