Dia De Los Muertos is an important and joyful tradition with over 3,000 years of history.
Oceanside has rich cultural diversity, and they proudly celebrate it during their fantastic Dia de Los Muertos festival. “This event is just another way to show how we can learn about the historical story that is brought back to life at the Oceanside Dia de Los Muertos Festival.” -Cathy Nykiel, President.
Friends of Oceanside Dia de Los Muertos is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote, educate, and conserve the traditions of Dia de Los Muertos. The group meets on the first Monday of the Month to discuss how to best keep these traditions alive for San Diego’s diverse community.
The Festival of Dia de Los Muertos takes place in Downtown Oceanside at 870 Rivertree Drive on October 24. The festival starts at 10 am and continues on until 5 pm! It is FREE to attend and the whole family is welcomed! This family-friendly event is about recognizing the lives of the dead and the connection between the living and the dead. Life’s cycle is celebrated without shying away from death. This positive perspective of death dates back over 3,000 years ago to Mesoamerican cultures. From Mexico to Nicaragua, the Mesoamerican societies believed that the boundary separating the living and the dead weakened at this time of year. This meant the deceased could visit the realm of the living.
This belief clashed with the Spaniards, who viewed death as a more total end. Instead of fearing death, Mesoamericans embraced and celebrated it. The wonderful traditionally celebrated on November 1st and 2nd vary from region to region and by the degree of urbanization. In small towns in Mexico, most families still hold a candlelight procession to a cemetery on the eve of the celebration. Family members decorate gravesites with flowers like cempasúchiles or marigolds. Other traditions include constructing altars, making ofrendas to the dead such as their favorite foods. A fun tradition is making sugar skulls and eating delicious pan de Muerto- Yum! Family members may also spend the night sharing memories of their loved ones.
Many Mexican immigrants and those with Mexican roots have introduced these rich traditions throughout the United States. The commemoration is not a mournful one but rather a time to share memories with family and friends. There will be ballet folkorico, Danza de Los diablos, a catrina contest, mariachis, and many more beautiful surprises at the event.
If you would like to participate as part of the Board, on a Committee, or Volunteer, you can contact Friends of Dia De Los Muertos here.
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