When Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, arrives, family members of departed souls set out water, candles, food and decorated sugar skulls to welcome their lost loved ones. Widely celebrated in Latin America, the day honors the dead as living entities. It celebrates the departed, and helps keep them present in life.
Dia de los Muertos is a tradition at CSU Monterey Bay, where now-retired Professor Amalia Mesa-Bains started it 16 years ago. This year's celebration will be held on Nov. 1 in the University Center. The public is invited to attend this free event.
This year’s theme is "Memories – A Bridge Between Life and Death."
The celebration will begin at 4 p.m. with face painting in the Student Center on the campus quad. At 5 o'clock, the procession will head to the University Center on Sixth Avenue, where the celebration will begin at 6 p.m.
Performances by Aztec dancers and musicians will highlight the evening. Altars will be on display; pan dulce and hot chocolate will be served.
Learn to make sugar skulls (pictured above) at a workshop on Oct. 19. The free event will be held in the Visual and Public Art Building (Bldg. 72) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants should bring 5 lbs. of sugar.
Driving directions and a campus map are available here.
View a video of VPA instructor Dio Mendoza talking about Dia de los Muertos at CSUMB in 2011.
In 2009, KQED, the Public Broadcasting System affiliate in San Francisco, filmed a story on the VPA class taught by Dr. Amalia Mesa Bains. View it here.