Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration honors Hispanic tradition

Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration honors Hispanic tradition
(Walton, Elizabeth)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A special celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the traditional Hispanic festival of remembrance, in which departed spirits feel welcome to hold a reunion with living relatives, will be held Friday, Nov. 2 at Funeraria Del Angel (FDA) South Lawn Mortuary and Cemetery, 5401 South Park Avenue in Tucson. The annual Dia de los Muertos celebration is free and open to the public. For more information, please call FDA South Lawn and Cemetery at (520) 294-2603.

“Each year, we strive to honor the local community culture with our Dia de los Muertos celebration,” said Jim Gibson, General Manager of FDA South Lawn Mortuary and Cemetery, part of the Funerarias Del Angel network, in a recent news release. “The holiday represents a desire to reconnect with those who have gone before us, an opportunity to stop and remember friends and family members who have died. We are glad to provide a venue for people to celebrate and reminisce.”

Dia de los Muertos is a festive time of remembrance in which families decorate the tombs of deceased relatives and install memorial altars where special offerings are laid out with the intention of calling home the spirits of the dead. These altars can include everything from tissue-paper dolls, candles and pan de muerto (sugar-coated breads) to photographs, water glasses, musical instruments and a variety of other gifts. The tradition is to include items that would be appealing and comforting to the returning souls.

A community altar was set up on Oct. 15 and remains through Nov. 2 to allow the public to pay tribute to their loved ones. Offerings are welcome during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Community members interested in participating in the altar contest in which participants create altars in the cemetery are asked to register with FDA South Lawn Mortuary and Cemetery.

The altar contest in the Cemetery will begin Thursday, November 1 with setup and conclude with the judging at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2. Prizes will be awarded for the top three altars.

A procession with Folklorico Dancers in the Cemetery begins at 6:30 pm with a rosary service immediately before to begin at 5:30 pm.

A free screening of “Coco” will begin at 7:30 pm.

The Red Cross will be having a Blood Drive from 2:30 pm to 7 pm.

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