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October 29, 2013 > Day of the Dead celebrates ancestors

Day of the Dead celebrates ancestors

Submitted By Hilary Burns

The "Day of the Dead" observance dates back more than 2,500 years and is linked to the pre-Hispanic era. Each year, celebrants visit ancestral graves to build private altars and decorate graves with ofrendas (offerings). This ancient "grave decorating? tradition is conducted every fall to celebrate the deceased and encourage visits by their souls.

Chapel of the Chimes Hayward celebrates "Day of the Dead" with traditional Folklorico and Aztec dance performances by Youth Folkloric Dance Troupe and Ollin Anahuac Traditional Aztec Dance Group, a Catholic service, music by Mariachi Mexicanisimo de Raymundo Coronado, grave decorating, and Mexican food from Tacos la Portanca. This year, Chapel of the Chimes will have sugar skulls to decorate in the ancient tradition of keeping skulls as trophies and to display them during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.

More than 300 guests from all backgrounds will attend the festival Friday, November 1st to witness and participate in the time-honored rituals of "Day of the Dead." Robin Russell, Chapel of the Chimes Sales Manager, and Gus Acob, official Chaplain of Washington Hospital, will also attend the event.

"Day of the Dead" remains an important part of cultural life in today's Hispanic community and will be celebrated at other Tri-City locations:

Mexico Tortilla Factory in Newark is sponsoring Dia De Los Muertos on Saturday, November 2 to honor departed loved ones. An altar will be erected in the adjoining plaza and families are invited to stop by for kids face painting, and arts and crafts. Handmade crafts will be available for sale. Festivities will begin at 1 p.m.; Aztec dancers and a blessing are scheduled at 6 p.m.

Take part in an "Altar Walk" in the historic Niles District to visit altars or shrines built in memory of loved ones followed by a small celebration. Bring a picture or memento to put on a community altar or create a personal altar in memory of ancestors and loved ones. An opening ceremony and blessing for the event will be held at 6 p.m. Also in Niles, the Muddpuddle Shop will be hosting a concert with ArtemesiaBlack featuring Americana Gothic Swamp Lullabies and other spooky tunes.

See "Day of the Dead" through an artists' eye by visiting Sun Gallery's "A New Beginning" exhibit through November 10. Or have your own private event by visiting the resting places of those you have loved and lost and honor them by your memories and presence.

Day of the Dead Festival
Friday, Nov 1
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Chapel of the Chimes Hayward
32992 Mission Blvd., Hayward
(510) 471-3363

Dead of the Dead Show
Friday, Nov 1
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Mudpuddle Shop
37433 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(510) 794-9935

All Souls Day
Friday, Nov 1
4 p.m.
Cedar Lawn Cemetery
48800 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont
(408) 263-2868

Niles Altar Walk: Entre los Velos - Between the Veils
Friday and Saturday, Nov 1 and 2
Friday: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday: 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Uptown Gallery
37275 Niles Blvd., Fremont

Dia De Los Muertos
Saturday, Nov 2
1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Face painting, crafts for sale, craft table for kids, Aztec dancers
Magnolia Plaza (next to Tortilla Factory)
7015 Thornton Ave., Newark
(510) 792-9909

A New Beginning
Through Sunday, Nov 10
Thursday - Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun Gallery, Hayward Forum for the Arts
1015 E St., Hayward
(510) 581-4050

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