Saturday, November 2, 2019

Dia de Los Muertos, Los Angeles (Nov. 2-3)

KCET; LA Day of the Dead (Hollywood Forever); Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
(KCET Online, S10 E3, 5/29/19) Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead has been adapted for centuries from its pre-colonial Aztec roots to the popular depictions in mass media today such as "Coco." Inspired by rich Oaxacan traditions, it was brought to East Los Angeles in the 1970s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano (Mexican-American) identity through a small celebration at Self Help Graphics & Art. Since then the celebration has grown with renditions enacted in communities all around the world. In contrast to all the glamorous fanfare Dia de los Muertos now receives, KCET's Artbound offers a more intimate look at this ritual through the story of artist Ofelia Esparza, who continues the tradition of building altars (ofrendas) to remember dead ancestors, the dearly departed. Journey with her as she travels to Mexico in search of her ancestral roots.

Celebrating in Hollywood, Alta California
Monarch butterfly over a Mexican sunflower, Michoacán, Mexico (Rbreidbrown/wiki)

Hollywood Forever’s 20th annual Dia de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead") celebration will take place on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. This year, the guiding theme is the monarch butterfly and its winter home, the Mexican state of Michoacán. Michoacán is one of the two cultural heartlands (the other being Oaxaca or "wah-hah-kah") in Mexico where the ancient Aztec traditions of Dia de los Muertos have been celebrated the longest and most vibrantly.

It's great to be Mexican-American for the best of both worlds, old and new (Dega86)

You are altered by your altar.
The monarch butterfly is also embraced as a symbol of Dreamers and immigrants whose personal journeys echo the annual migrations the butterflies make between Mexico and the USA. The monarch’s pending inclusion on the Endangered Species List is also an urgent call to love and protect our shared Earth (Tierra). As this is the 20th anniversary of celebrating at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, gratitude for the beautiful migration of Dia de los Muertos from its homeland of Michoacán, Mexico, to the heart of Hollywood, California is shared with all.

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