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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latino Center of Art and Culture will be kicking off its 13th annual El Panteón de Sacramento event this weekend to honor Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.
This free three-day event is dedicated to lives lost, but specifically to those lost to COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event will feature the recreation of a candlelit Mexican cemetery and chapel along with memorials and 40 community altars decorated with colorful and eclectic offerings like sugar skulls, flowers and personal mementos.
There will also be live dance and musical performances by 13 groups and artists, local vendors and artisans, entertainment, food and drinks, activities and culture for the whole family.
“Yes, this is a space where we are honoring the dead, but that doesn’t mean it has to be morbid,” said Jorge Quintana, director of communications at the Latino Center of Art and Culture. “In fact, it’s colorful! We get a beautiful opportunity to celebrate something which most of us would normally think we’d want to mourn.”
Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday featuring festivals celebrating and remembering the souls of the departed who are believed to have left the world of the dead to reunite with their ancestors and loved ones.
“Dia de los Muertos is a beautiful day,” Quintana said. “Its history actually comes from Nahua and Aztec traditions where indigenous communities make it a big point to honor ancestors and acknowledge that there is still something on the other side, and as long as we remember all those who have passed, they never are truly gone.”
The festival starts on Friday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and ends on Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Latino Center of Art and Culture is located at 2700 Front Street in Sacramento.
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