How would you explain Día de Muertos to someone unfamiliar with the holiday? It seems more complicated than it really is especially when some refer to it as Día de Muertos and some refer to it as Día de Los Muertos. That’s another blog post. In simple terms, Día de Muertos is a two-day celebration of the lives of our loved ones who have left this earth.
The celebrations can be as elaborate or as simple as you want them to be. Our familia only began our own celebration a few years ago. One of the first celebrations that we attended together was at SAY Sí, San Antonio’s non-profit multidisciplinary arts program for local students. At our first Muertitos Fest, we learned about the holiday through art, crafting, food, and ofrendas (altars set up to honor and remember loved ones).
Día de los Muertos Lessons at Muertitos Fest 2012 | QueMeansWhat.com
Día de Muertos with an International Perspective
Muertitos Fest is three days of unique cultural happenings including: an exhibition of student Día de los Muertos art, notable folk art exhibits, altars to honor the departed, family folk art workshops, food booths, an artisan mercado and live multidisciplinary performances. It is a perfect experience for any family to attend and learn what this holiday means not just to the Mexican and Mexican-American culture but also to the San Antonio community. That’s what we did back in 2012!
This year, SAY Sí celebrates Día de Muertos with its 10th Annual Muertitos Fest with an international perspective through a creative collaboration with Prayasam, a youth organization from Kolkata, India. These two organizations are tying the Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos with Pitru Paksha (fortnight of the ancestors) which is a 16–lunar day period in Hindu calendar when Hindus pay homage to their ancestor, especially through food offerings. Adding this international twist only enhances this already special holiday. Connecting the two holidays can open up our kids’ understanding of how cultures across the world are more similar than they are different. This is an opportunity to introduce how to be a world citizen.
SAY Si’s Muertitos Fest 2016 Schedule
Muertitos Fest Opening Night Fundraiser: Thursday, November 3, 2016 | 7:00 – 10:30 pm | Price: $35 Presale, $40 At the Door (Only 200 tickets available)
An intimate and high-spirited celebration where patrons can feast on re-imagined Mexican delicacies by San Antonio’s Viva Vegeria – Vegan Tex-Mex and delectable libations. Listen to live music by Beatriz La Emperatriz del Pueblo, Los De Esta Noche, with a special collaborative performance by youth from SAY Sí and Prayasam (India). Be the first to purchase student artwork or traditional crafts in our artisan vendor mercado and join in on our Día de los Muertos costume contest! Only 200 tickets available! Purchase your tickets for opening night online.
Muertitos Fest First Friday: Friday, November 4, 2016 | 6:00 – 10:00 pm | FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Muertitos Fest festivities continue with a Día de los Muertos First Friday celebration. Enjoy the exhibits, altars, festive food and artisan booths. Participate in hands-on art activities and be entertained by live musical and dance performances on two stages throughout the evening. Performances by Conjunto Mismosol, El Tallercito de Son, Elsa Champion Dance Academy, Grupo Frackaso and Los Nahuatlatos! Procession by Las Monas Performance Group. A free shuttle will be available to transport guests to and from the festivities.
Muertitos Fest Family Day: Saturday, November 5, 2016 | 12:00 – 4:00 pm | FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Bring the kids! On this family-friendly final day of Muertitos Fest, you can get hands-on with various folk art inspired workshops, face painting and shop for treasures from one-of-a-kind artist vendors. Enjoy a special family program of music and performances by Monica Moon School of Dance, Elsa Champion Dance Academy, Conjunto Heritage Taller, the ALAS Youth Theatre Company and more in the SAY Sí Black Box Theatre.
*All events take place at SAY Sí, 1518 South Alamo San Antonio, TX 78204.
Queridos, if you are in San Antonio, I hope to see you at Muertitos Fest!