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Day of the Dead celebration set for Oct. 28

October 22, 2009

Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus will celebrate life by honoring the dead at an annual festival that dates to pre-colonial times.

ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences has teamed up with the Spanish Language and Cultures Club to host a El Día de Los Muertos festival on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Civic Space Park, 444 N. Central Avenue, in Phoenix. The three-hour festival, which will include artists, decorations and music, starts at 5 p.m.

“El Día de Los Muertos is a beautiful way to celebrate one’s deceased relatives. This holiday that mixes indigenous and Spanish traditions is especially celebrated throughout Mexico where special foods and decorations are made,” says Carmen King, a Spanish lecturer with the School of Letters and Sciences, and Spanish Language and Cultures Club faculty advisor. “The ASU Downtown Phoenix campus holds an annual Day of the Dead festival to recognize and honor our community’s cultural diversity and the Hispanic roots of Arizona and the U.S. Southwest.”

El Día de Los Muertos, otherwise known as “Day of the Dead,” is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and Latin America as well as by many Hispanics living in the United States. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember those who have died. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased that display marigolds, photos, memorabilia, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed.

Similar holidays and themed-celebrations are observed in many parts of the world, including Brazil, Spain, New Zealand, Europe, the Philippines, and various Asian and African cultures.

Renowned Valley storyteller/mask-maker Zarco Guerrero will be the evening’s featured entertainment. He will combine storytelling techniques from exotic places with street theater. 

Fair Trade Café will be on hand to provide drinks and snacks for the festival.