With Houston’s diverse and growing population, the celebrations for Dia De Los Muertos are expanding each year. This year is notable because it marks the first time the City of Houston will officially be celebrating the Mexican holiday.
“I think that it's important for us to keep our traditions alive,” said Luis Gavito, the curator for the Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, altar at the local community organization MECA. “We live in a climate where people look down on immigrants, and kids need to be proud of their roots, and be proud of their traditions, and not be ashamed of them,” he said about the celebration, which MECA has been a part of for more than 20 years.
Dia de Los Muertos is typically celebrated on November 1 and 2 in Mexico. The tradition celebrates our ancestors, and those who have departed through altars that display sugar skulls, photos of deceased relatives, and cherished objects of loved ones. According to Gavito, some believe that on this day, the line between life and death is so thin that the spirits can cross over.
This year there is an abundance of fun options to mark this Mexican holiday, and here are just a few heading into Halloween weekend and beyond.
MECA’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival
The festival takes place October 30 through 31 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s a free event, but once inside the grounds, guests will have the option to buy food and merchandise from vendors. Those going will be greeted with live entertainment, the opportunity to honor their loved ones with MECA’s 26 ofrendas (altars), along with a special ofrenda for those who lost family during the COVID-19 pandemic and more.
For more details about the festival, visit their website.
2021 Houston Dia de Los Muertos Parade
Taking place a week after most celebrations, Houstonians can enjoy this new and free event on November 6 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Sam Houston Park. Guests will have the chance to enjoy live music, a beautiful procession, concessions, arts and crafts and more. During the celebration, Houston leaders will be honored for their service to the city.
For more information, visit the official Eventbrite.
Community Altar at Discovery Green
Houston-based artist Angel Quesada is creating a community altar in Discovery Green where the 10 Dia de Los Muertos, 7-feet skulls are on display. Those wanting to celebrate their family and friends who have passed can partake in this free event on November 1 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. According to Discovery Green, visitors should not bring items that they’ll want to be returned back to them.
For more information on the event and the artists behind the skulls, visit Discovery Green’s website.
Magnolia Park Dia de Los Muertos 8th Anniversary Celebration
This free event is on October 30 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The festival will be abiding by CDC guidelines, and they are encouraging vendors, volunteers and participants to be supportive as well. This year the festival wants to have the biggest community altar yet, so they’re asking for help from the community to make this happen. Those who want to honor their loved ones can send in one picture per family member.
To learn more about this celebration, visit their website.
Monkey’s Tail New Brunch Launch
This Mexican-American restaurant chose Dia de Los Muertos weekend as the perfect launch for their latest revived menu plans. The beloved Houston bar is debuting a new brunch vibe on October 30 and 31. According to their press release, guests can bring pictures of their loved ones for the ofrenda that will be on display.