By Angie Wynne
Historic Oakland Foundation invites its neighbors to attend the second-annual Day of the Dead festival at Oakland Cemetery on Sunday, November 5 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Admission is free.
Visitors of all ages will learn about and experience a traditional Día de Muertos festival. Guests will enjoy traditional dancing, crafts, authentic Mexican food, and entertainment. They can also view a display of altars decorated with flowers, food, and beverages honoring lost family and friends.
Day of the Dead originated several thousand years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people who considered mourning the dead disrespectful. For these pre-Hispanic cultures, death was a natural phase in life’s long journey. The dead were considered members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit, and during Día de Muertos, they temporarily returned to earth.
Today’s Día de Muertos celebration is a blend of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts which takes place on November 1 and 2—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on the Catholic calendar— around the time of the fall maize harvest. It’s not a macabre occasion, but rather a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed on.
Dressing up for the occasion is encouraged! There will be a Catrinas and Catrines costume contest with cash prizes for the first places (kids and adults). Free registration for this contest will be at the festival entrance.
The Day of the Dead festival is presented by Historic Oakland Foundation, the Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta, the Institute of Mexican Culture, Atlanta History Center, and the Office of the Government of Guanajuato in Georgia.