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Guided Tour of the Dia De Muertos Altar, Nov. 9 at the Mexican Cultural Institute

AAFSW cordially invites you on Tuesday, November 9 at 11:.00 am, to a fascinating exhibition at the Mexican Cultural Institute’s annual Day of the Dead Altar One of Mexico’s most famous events. This well-known community event features an intricate altar. 

In 2003, UNESCO proclaimed Mexico’s “Indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead” as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Before European contact, death for the Mexica and other Indigenous Peoples was not seen as final. Death was the place of silence, of regeneration; it was a natural part of life.

Día de los Muertos uses skulls and skeletons as symbols. Because it’s called Day of the Dead in English, the assumption by many is that it celebrates death. It really celebrates the lives of the ancestors and deceased loved ones.

A traditional Muertos celebration includes offerings of food (pan de muerto, mole, etc.), water, tobacco, fruit, sweets (sugar skulls) and alcohol (depending on the deceased).

Día de los Muertos is celebrated on the Catholic All Saints Day and All Souls Day November 1 and 2, but let us not confuse the traditional with the colonized.

Nevertheless, the essence of Muertos is directly tied to the ancient ways of the ancestors. Whether it’s sugar skulls, papel picado, pan de muerto, cempasúchil, and even “La Catrina,” — all which are uniquely Mexican.

Artist José Guadalupe Posada’s famous Calavera Garbancera, more commonly known as “La Catrina,” was made in protest of the Porfiriato to the regime of Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz, whose repressive ways led to the Mexican Revolution. Posada was mocking Mexicans who like Díaz shunned their own Indianness for the Victorian styles of the day.

Please sign up by Nov. 5  office@aafsw.org.

We will meet at the Mexican Cultural Institute, located in 2829 16th Street NW · Washington, DC 20009

We look forward to seeing you.

Sheila Switzer

AAFSW Program Chair