On Sunday, November 6, the Museum of Ventura County hosts a free community celebration of music, dance, and crafts from 11am – 4pm for the whole family. Visitors can see the artist-created altars, called ofrendas, on display throughout the museum, enjoy cultural dance performances by local groups, create art projects to take home and have their faces painted calaveras–style. This annual celebration has become very popular at the Museum, highlighting the local traditions of Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos.
Sunday’s entertainment includes performances by Ballet Folklórico Mestizo of Oxnard College, Ballet Folklórico de Bell Arts, and Danza Mexica Cuautemoc, and DATA (DeAnza Academy of Technology and the Arts) Mariachi.
Traditional craft-making is available for all ages, which includes making paper flowers, masks, and paper skeletons. Refreshments are available for sale.
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is observed in many part of Mexico and Latin America, and includes altars to welcome and honor the departed who are said to come back to walk among the living on November 1st. It is now popular in the United States among Latinos and non-Latinos alike. Humorous skulls (Calaveras) and skeletons are the dominant symbols of the celebration, which has roots in pre-Columbian as well as Spanish religious beliefs.