Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

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Midtown Hosts Annual Dia De Los Muertos Celebration

Halloween isn't the only holiday being celebrated in Sacramento this weekend. Midtown will also host the annual Día de los Muertos, or day of the dead, festival.
Roberto Lopez is a former staff member at La Raza Galeria Posada. He told Insight's Beth Ruyak that one of the holiday's traditions includes going to the cemetery and laying out the favorite foods of the deceased.
"It has almost the same feeling as Thanksgiving for the family in Mexico. Because you sit around the table eating with the memories of your deceased,” he says. “And in those times you remember their stories. One thing is that you remember them and by remembering them you bring them back to life."
In American culture ghosts and spirits are generally viewed as frightening. But in Mexican culture the spirits of the deceased are honored.
Marie Acosta is the director of the Latino Center of Art and Culture. She says it's common in Mexico to set off fireworks to attract spirits. But she says the local festival is taking a different approach.
"Saturday evening around 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. the giant street puppets will lead traditional dancers to the performing area between J and K and 20th and 21st,” she says. “They'll play for about an hour or more and in that way help our deceased arrive to our panteon, our cemetery, and join their families for the evening."
Acosta told Insight's Beth Ruyak families also build altars to honor deceased relatives. You can see some of those altars at the Midtown festival.
It takes place Saturday and Sunday at J and 21st streets.  

SLIDESHOW: Dia De Los Muertos Comes To Sacramento (2013)


Dia De Los Muertos Poster

Katie Orr

Former Health Care Reporter

Katie Orr reported for Capital Public Radio News through December 2015.  Read Full Bio 

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