A party for the departed
An unlikely fusion of Aztec beliefs and Spanish Catholicism, Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebrates the lives of departed loved ones. Using candy skulls, marigold flowers, papel picado, baked goods, and calacas (skull and skeleton figures), many Mexican American families build altars in their home to honor the dead.
This year, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe celebrates Día de los Muertos with more than 20 altars created by local artists and community members. Axle Contemporary Gallery, a mobile gallery that operates out of a retrofitted bread truck, will be parked at the museum, displaying an exhibit of Day of the Dead-themed papel picado works by artists Catalina Delgado Trunk and Christopher Gibson. Beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, the museum hosts a celebration showcasing its altars with food from Los Chileros and live music by E. Christina Herr & the Wild Frontier, Trio Zia, and Los Niños de Santa Fe. A costume contest will be held, and attendees are encouraged to dress in the style of los muertos, with skull masks and skeleton body paint.
Día de los Muertos is observed on Tuesday, Nov. 2, which is also Election Day. El Museo is a polling place; as voters stroll past, there will be a blessing of the altars by Danza Mexika, a group that preserves indigenous traditions from Mexico, that takes place at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to all ages. El Museo is in the Railyard at 555 Camino de la Familia. For more information, call 992-0591.