Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional observance that is celebrated in Mexico and parts of Central America and the United States. It is celebrated yearly on November 1 and 2. Dia de los Muertos is a time when families spend time at the cemetery, visiting the graves of their relatives, cleaning and perhaps painting the headstones, arranging flowers, and lighting candles.
It is also the time when families construct special home altars dedicated to the spirits of their deceased loved ones. The altars range from simple to very elaborate and can be filled with objects that provided pleasure to the departed person in life, including favorite food and drink. Altars dedicated to the spirits of deceased children often include toys, candy and other sweets.
The website azcentral.com maintains an online guide to Dia de Los Muertos. This guide contains information on the history of the celebration, a diagram of traditional and contemporary items on celebratory altars, craft and food ideas, and a glossary. You can access the guide at:
In October 2011, the Arizona Daily Star ran the following article commenting on the increasing popularity of Dia de los Muertos in the United States. The article also contains background information on the history of this celebration. Read it here:
Dia de los Muertos in Tucson
All Souls Procession
According to the historical information on its website, http://www.allsoulsprocession.org/, Tucson’s annual All Souls Procession incorporates over 20,000 participants for a two-mile long procession through the city’s downtown area. This website includes information on All Souls events, procession map and timeline, and ways to get involved.
The Pima County Public Library is proud to participate in the All Souls Procession. Interested supporters or community members who would like to help decorate the Library’s banner or march with our staff are welcome to attend.
Pima County Public Library branches often host Dia de los Muertos-related activities, including altar-building crafts and sugar skull decorating workshops. See our catalog at http://www.library.pima.gov/calendar/ for event information.
Other Events and Observances
Visittucson.org lists a variety of local Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead-related events in its online holiday event schedule.
Dia de los Muertos events throughout Arizona are listed at azcentral.com. Note: this list focuses mainly on events in Maricopa County, but may also include events in Tucson.
"All Souls Procession Weekend." All Souls Procession Weekend. http://www.allsoulsprocession.org/ (accessed October 29, 2011).
"Day of the Dead - Azcentral.com." Arizona Local News - Phoenix Arizona News - Phoenix Breaking News - azcentral.com. http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/ (accessed October 27, 2011).
"'Day of the Dead' expanding in US ." Arizona Daily Star. http://azstarnet.com/news/us/day-of-the-dead-expanding-in-us/article_6c51caed-9d5c-570b-83e4-81de59bd0786.html (accessed October 26, 2011).
"VisitTucson.org." Official Tucson Visitors Bureau. http://www.visittucson.org/visitor/events/holiday/ (accessed October 25, 2011).