Meaning, Memory, and Mirth: Dia de los Muertos

A number of skeleton-filled celebrations are happening over the weekend.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Nov 2, 2012  |  Updated 1:04 PM PDT
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Meaning, Memory, and Mirth: Dia de los Muertos

George Newnam

See Casa de Calaveras in Santa Ana on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4; other Muertos-merry events are going on around SoCal.

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A number of holidays have spilled their boundaries in recent years, perhaps led by Christmas, a celebration that annually makes its first appearance in our stores around the start of the school year.

We like it, even as others wish for a holiday that remains on the day itself; maybe it is the anticipation factor.

Dia de los Muertos, like its companion Halloween is one such event that has seemingly grown in recent years. What used to be a rather quiet celebration at a family-built altar or meal on Nov. 1 or 2 now lasts the better part of a week, complete with parades, art shows, make-up demos, and music.

Los Angeles is happily part of this trend -- or perhaps has led it -- and there are several Day of the Dead events happening past the traditional Nov. 1 and 2 window. Such as:

Canoga Park's Dia de los Muertos Festival: It's the 12th outing for this street fair, which has a lot of merry going on. What do we mean by that? Check the video below for giant skeleton lovers a-dancin'. Sunday, Nov. 4

Le Muerte Vive: Music, costumes, gorgeous make-up and performance bring the spirit of Dia to life at the Palace Theatre. The show's happening on Friday, Nov. 2.

Grand Park Celebration: If you're headed downtown to the Palace, swing by Grand Park, which will also be hosting Day of the Dead festivities on Nov. 2. The calacas raise the roof from 5 to 11 p.m.

Casa de Calaveras: Artist George Newnam's life-sized skeletons usually make a few LA and OC stops each season. They're at the Bowers Kidseum on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4. There's also a Mexican Day of the Dead Festival on Nov. 4.

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