Embracing Dia de los Muertos Celebrations

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Daisy Magaña

Death, a word and act surrounded by unease, and more often than not people avoid the reference of it. However, death is a tie that binds us all together. It doesn’t care if you’re tall or short, straight or gay, black, red, or blue. Various cultures celebrate death as a renewed life. Dia de los Muertos is a tradition celebrated throughout Mexico and other cultures around the world to honor, remember, and pray for those who have passed. The respected holiday has grown in popularity in recent years, and communities have embraced and celebrated Dia de los Muertos through art, food, dance and music. Check out these ten events taking place throughout the city:

  • EleveArte hosts the longest running Dia de los Muertos celebration in Pilsen. Muertos de la Risa with the Soulful Nutricuates marks the organization’s 35th annual celebration where participants can join a community procession and share in the tradition’s ofrenda (an offering for the deceased). Ofrenda altars and holiday-inspired attire will adorn the streets. (Saturday, November 1st, 2:00 p.m. For more information, please visit http://elevartestudio.org/).
  • The Portage Theatre will screen Las Momias de Guanajuato, a classic Mexican film about a wrestler (Satan) who has sold his soul for fame but a rising army of mummies seeks revenge proving that fame will not be achieved so easily. (Sunday, November 2nd, doors open at 3:00 p.m., for more information please visit http://www.theportagetheater.com).
  • NYCH Gallery will open its doors for Marc’s 2nd annual Arte de Los Muertos: Day of the Dead Showcase. The showcase will have about 25 artists, crafters and vendors. There will be food trucks and drinks (cash donations). Admission is free. (Saturday, November 1st 8:00 p.m., 643 W. 18th Street, Chicago, IL. For more information please visit http://www.nychgallery.com/).
  • Lace up and hit the pavement for the annual Carrera de Los Muertos, The annual 5k race continues to grow each year, so register before it’s sold out! Racers can showcase their muertos spirit with sugar skull face paint as they run through the colorful, vibrant streets of Pilsen (Saturday, November 1st, 8:00 a.m. Race starts at 1641 W. 16th Street, Chicago, IL. For more information, please visit http://raceofthedead.com/).
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  • Alhambra Palace welcomes its diners to a night dedicated to honoring the holiday. The 3rd Annual Dia de Los Muertos Concert will not only have traditional mariachi dressed in Day of the Dead attire, but also face painting, raffles and giveaways. (Sunday, November 2nd. For more information call 312-666-9555).
  • The National Museum of Mexican Art will host Rito y Recuerdo: Day of the Dead exhibit now thru December 14, 2014. Sam Z. Coronado, Gabriel García Márquez and Nelson Mandela are some people who will be honored and remembered through ofrendas and altars dedicated to their memory. Enjoy from the museum’s newest addition of extended hours on November 21st. (For more information, please visit http://nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org/exhibits/rito-y-recuerdo-day-dead).
  • The City of Evanston will hold a free Day of the Dead concert with Sones de Mexico at 300 Dodge Ave., Evanston IL 60201. Enjoy an evening with rich, folkloric sounds that characterize Mexican culture and this holiday. (Sunday, October 26th, 4:00 p.m. For more information, please visit http://www.cityofevanston.org/events/2014/10/day-of-the-dead-concert/).
  • The Center for Advancing Domestic Peace is hosting an event for a call-to-action Help-O-Ween Dia de los Muertos. The event will have music, food, traditional face painters and raffles to raise awareness and benefit the center’s mission of ending the destructive cycle of domestic violence. (Monday, October 27, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).
  • The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) is launching their end of year fundraising campaign La Misa de los Muertos at John Barleycorn. All proceeds will benefit their programs to support Latino professional development. (For more information, please e-mail Rocio Mendez at rocio@haceonline.org).
  • Ageless Arts Tattoo & Body Piercing Studios is honoring the cultural holiday with an art showcase >Viva la Vida, Viva la Muerte. Celebrating Latino culture through customs, people and history, the night will remember and honor our loved ones that have passed. (Saturday, November 1st from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).

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