The Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL) is partnering with Evansville Day of the Dead for a celebration of the Mexican tradition known as "Día da los Muertos" and you're invited.

What is Dia da los Muertos?

Dia da los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead" is a Mexican tradition that dates back some 3,000 years. While it falls at the same time as Halloween each year, it centers around death, and its most recognizable symbols are brightly decorated skulls. It's not a tradition designed to be spooky or scary. It's the exact opposite, actually.

Where Halloween focuses on spirits coming back to terrorize the living, Dia da los Muertos is a celebration of those who have passed away. In Mexico, the two-day event typically features bright colors, food, music, dancing, parades, and more.

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More Than a Party

Mexicans Celebrate The Day Of The Dead
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According to this Day of the Dead website, the belief is that "the passageway between the real world and the spirit world is open so our deceased loved ones can come back to visit us" over the course of the celebration. Families will prepare weeks in advance "by creating altars, decorating burial sites, and cooking specific Day of the Dead food." For example, the favorite meal of the deceased. The celebration has become increasingly popular here in the states over the years as the Hispanic population has grown, bringing with them cultural traditions that help them remain connected to their heritage.

Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library Día da los Muertos Celebration

The event will take place at the west branch library on the corner of Wabash Avenue of Flags and Franklin Street on Saturday, November 5th beginning at 2:00 PM, and according to the event page on Facebook, will feature a face painting tent, activities with crafts, and DIY projects from the EVPL Maker Central department. Students from Signature School will perform a dance program, as well as Hoop of a Feather and more in the stage area. Food trucks will also be parked on Franklin Street selling a variety of authentic Mexican specialties. Finally, you'll have the opportunity for "Ofrendas" in the auditorium inside the branch. Ofrenda is Spanish for "offering" and is the primary focus of any Dia da los Muertos celebration as it represents the gifts people leave on the alters of their loved ones.

The event and all activities are free and open to the public.

[Source: Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library]

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