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Día de los Muertos: A day to celebrate and remember (video and photos)


Photos by Ty O’Neil | Video by Bob Conrad

Latino Arts & Culture on Saturday held the annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. Day of the Dead is typically a Mexican holiday that extends back 3,000 years.

The day is held to honor those who have died. Although a day of remembrance, it is also a day to celebrate. Attendees dress up with skull masks, eat food and candy and celebrate with food and drink as if their ancestors were still alive.

Face paintings and colorful costumes mark the celebration. Offerings are made to those who have passed. Skulls are a common visual theme, but those with painted faces smile “as a friendly nod to death, even mocking death.”

National Geographic describes the significance of the event:

“Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Día de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Día de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.”

The American Indian Movement (AIM) of Northern Nevada held a ceremony for attendees. 

“We need to listen to our elders,” said AIM’s Ray Bacasegua Valdez. “Are we perfect? No. Do we make mistakes? Yes. But listen. Be kind to your elders.”

The holiday is usually celebrated Nov. 1. Latino Arts & Culture held the event on Pueblo Street, off Wells Avenue, in conjunction with Reno Little Theater. Día de Muertos has been celebrated in northern Nevada for 18 years.

Disclosure: This Is Reno was an in-kind sponsor for this event.

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