October 26, 2001

Cal State San Marcos to Celebrate Día de los Muertos With Traditional Festivities

California State University San Marcos will host a traditional Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Palm Court on campus.

The main festivities, to be held between 12 noon and 2:00 p.m., will include poetry readings, papel picado (cut-paper) designs, folk dance, and the presentation of altar offerings.

The historic roots of Día de los Muertos date back more than 3,000 years to the pre-Columbian cultures of Meso-America. It was customary to bury the dead surrounded by their most precious and valuable belongings, along with food and provisions that would be useful in their journey into the Mictlan, the afterlife.

In Mexico, Día de los Muertos traditionally takes place Nov. 1 and 2. On these days, altars and offerings are dedicated to the memory of deceased loved ones. The purpose is to welcome back the ánimas or souls to their homes or cemeteries. Favorite culinary dishes and the most treasured items of the deceased are placed at the altar for the souls to enjoy during their return visit.

According to Carlos von Son, a professor of foreign langauge and a committee member for the Cal State San Marcos celebration, "Participants are invited to bring mementos of their loved ones to place on the open ofrenda, or altar. These offerings may include photographs of deceased loved ones, favorite foods, candles, flowers, and incense."

The first Day of the Dead celebration at Cal State San Marcos took place in 1995 and was organized by Linda Amador, who was taking a visual arts course with Chicano artist David Avalos. Von Son became involved in 1997, and with Amador and Avalos has expanded the celebration each year.

"This celebration is an effort not only to continue the tradition but also to share it with other cultures," said von Son. The event is open to students, faculty, staff and the community.

For more information about the event is available by calling 760/750-4910.

Day of the Dead!

Mira Mesa - The public is invited to experience the meaning, history and art of the Mexican celebration, "Day of the Dead," on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 4-6 p.m. at Miramar College.

On the first and second of November, Mexicans traditionally remember their departed loved ones, according to Miramar College Spanish Professor April Koch. November first is "El Dia de Todos los Santos," or the day that the souls of the dead children are remembered. November second, "El Día de los Muertos," is the day to remember the dead adults.

Koch says that this holiday, while of Catholic origin, and is most elaborately celebrated in Mexico. This age-old tradition is a very personal time for families to reflect on their own departed loved ones.

Those who celebrate "Day of the Dead" create an altar in their homes, decorated with ofrendas or offerings for the deceased. Koch says, "On a typical altar, you will see candles, which help the spirits see in the dark, the `zempa-suchil' (marigold) flowers, whose strong scent and bright color also attract the spirits, photos of the departed, `cala-veras de azucar' (sugar skulls) that often bear the name of the deceased, el pan de muertos (Day of the Dead bread), oranges, and favorite foods and beverages of the deceased."

Koch will describe the traditions of "Day of the Dead" to those present and have an altar staged in Room I-123 on the Miramar College campus. Miramar College is located at 10440 Black Mountain Road, one block west of I-15 between Mira Mesa Blvd. and Carroll Canyon Road. For more information, call the college Public Information Office,


Bi-Cultural Street Fiesta to be Held at

St. Paul's Cathedral October 27

"Church Without Borders" brings together Anglican congregations from San Diego, Mexicali and Ensenada in a swirl of folkloric dances, mariachis, an art show, children's games, and Mexican food in celebration of "El Día de los Muertos" —the Day of the Dead— from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, at St. Paul's Cathedral, Fifth & Nutmeg in San Diego.


10:30 am - Bilingual Holy Eucharist, specially composed by the Cathedral's musician-in-residence, Paul Carmona. Leading the service will be Bishop Gethin B. Hughes and Bishop Samuel Espinoza, with preachers Fr. Armando Casillas and Fr. Habacuc Ramos. A pageantry-filled procession will precede the dedication of the offering, followed by the blessing of an art show by young Tijuana artists.

12 Noon - Opening of the Street Fiesta on Nutmeg between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

12:30-4:30 - Interactive games for children and adults, Mariachis, Folkloric dance Groups from the U.S. and Mexico, food and sweets from the two countries.

Congregations engaged in Spanish-language ministry or who support ministry in Ense-nada and Mexicali will display picture boards of their work. All are encouraged to bring an offering to be placed on the tiered "Ofrenda altar" inside the Cathedral to commemorate The Day of the Dead.

Día de Los Muertos

Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos), a unique Indo-Hispanic holiday which commemorates the return of spirits to earth. The holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico on Nov. 1 in honor of friends and family who have passed away.

"Skulls, Spirits, and Stories from Beyond," — a special weekend program for all ages. Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday October 27th - 28th. Free for members, $6 for non-members, includes Museum admission.

"Día de los Muertos"

Day of the Dead

Palomar College Library is hosting its annual Day of the Dead display from October 16 through November 14, 2001

Día de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1 and 2 in México, and is a time when families honor the memory of their departed relatives, not only by visiting the cemetery but by constructing altars or "ofrendas" to the spirits of the dearly departed.

The Library display will include items that would usually be components of an ofrenda, including papel picado (cut paper), calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls), pan de muertos (bread of the dead) and alfeñique (small sugar paste objects). Also featured will be books, photograph and information on the work of master printmaker, Jose Guadalupe Posada, whose satirical images are often associated with the Day of the Dead.

Find out more about Día de los Muertos by visiting our website at: http://muertos.palomar.edu

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