November 2, 2018
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, began Wednesday, October 31 and will end November 3rd. Thousands of Oaklanders observe and honor this ancestral celebration of remembering loved ones who have passed.
Visit the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts art Exhibit celebration on Friday, November 2nd starting at 6:30pm. There will be a Blessing the Ancestors Ceremony with Jorge Molina, live music with Locura Trio and La Clandestina, as well as a Fogo na Roupa performance group. Admission is free, though a $5 dollar donation is suggested if you are able. This year’s exhibit has 16 artists showcasing unique multidisciplinary Day of the Dead installations using the theme of butterflies and/or moths within the metaphor of death being an integral part of life.
The Golden Gate Branch of Oakland Public library will be holding a sugar skulls (calaveras) activity on Saturday, November 3rd at 10:30am. Bring your kiddos! Usually sugar skulls are made from cane sugar, but here at the library they will be made from Crayola Model Magic ®. The skulls can be decorated with color, glitter, and feathers! Snacks will also be provided!
The Dimond Branch of Oakland Public Library will showing the movie Coco at 1:00pm on November 3rd. After the movie, there will Calaveras to decorate with glitter and feathers!
Every year the Unity Council, “a non-profit Social Equity Development Corporation with a 50-year history in…Oakland”, puts on a free Día de los Muertos festival in the Fruitvale Neighborhood, a dynamic, traditionally Latin American district of Oakland. This year is the 23rd Annual festival- themed “A Dream for All” - is happening on November 4th from 10:00am to 5:00pm on International Boulevard, between Fruitvale Ave and 40th Ave. Over 80,000 people from around California are expected to join the festivities, so make sure you take BART over to Fruitvale Station, parking will be nearly impossible!
Now, what will you find at the Festival? Where do I begin? There will be innumerable opportunities to eat some tasty food, games and activities for all members of the family, and plenty of shopping from traditional Latin American artisanal stands. A huge attraction is the experience of live music and cultural dancing such as Ballet Folklorico and traditional Aztec dancing. You will also be able to spot the winning Poster Art for 2018’s festival “A Dream for All” by Eduardo Chaidez.
Perhaps the main focus will be the beautiful, stunning altares, or altars, built by professional artists, students, and community members to commemorate loved ones and help guide their spirits home. This year there will be about twenty 10ft x 10ft Día altares. They are the heart and soul of Día de los Muertos.
The popular Latin American restaurant Calavera will be offering special cocktails and dishes through November 4th in observance. There is an altar set up to commemorate El Santo, the famous actor and lucha libre fighter.
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