North Berkeley 7th Annual Mexican Dia de los Muertos
The fall season brings the 7th annual traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebration to North Berkeley. The event is taking place November 2nd from 5-9pm and will feature a wine and beer garden, food booths and trucks, and art and craft vendors. Activities for kids and adults alike include ceramic and sugar skull painting and pet altar creations.
There will be a community altar building, followed by a blessing of the altars, and concluded by a candle light procession, with the talents of Kippy Marks playing violin. Be sure to check out the Berkeley Art Center for “Familia Arte” from 1-4 p.m. inside Live Oak Park where artists Oscar Aguilar Olea, Azalea Aguilar, and Michelle Wilson will host a free family workshop to create art for the celebration. Attendees are free to bring photos or stories of loved ones, candles, beads, or flowers for the community altar which will be blessed by Cuauhtli Mitotiani Mexica dancers before leading the candle light procession through a path of marigold petals, which are thought to attract the souls of the dead.
There will be a series of altars created by local artists; Patricia Bulitt will create an altar of trees that have died using branches forming words that attendees can contribute to, Francesca Borgatta will have an alter consisting of ornate puppets and masks, Sue Kearney will install an alter respecting her ancestors which the community can honor with writings, and Christine Rossi will provide a means for attendees to honor the souls of victims of social acts, violence in war, and climate change.
Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday where attendees gather to honor friends and family who have passed and to help support their spiritual journey. The holiday originally started at the beginning of August and goes for the whole month, but the fall season is said to be the time of year when the barriers between the living and the dead are the thinnest. Dia de los Muertos has been celebrated for thousands of years and brings families, friends, and communities together for a single cause.