Many families of Mexican heritage observe Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, as a time to visit the resting place of deceased loved ones, bringing along earthly delights that the departed once enjoyed.
Family gravesites are carpeted with flowers, liquor, sweets, even cigarettes, and mariachi bands roam from headstone to headstone as they play favorite tunes. At home, altars are adorned with marigolds, photographs, food, candles and decorative sugar skulls in preparation for the day when a relative or friend will make the annual visit to Earth.
AARP in San Antonio invites members and their families and friends to a free Day of the Dead celebration on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, 723 S. Brazos St. The event features performances by the Guadalupe Dance Company and Academy, the Grupo Ánimo youth theater ensemble and the Mariachi Academy. In keeping with tradition, pan de muerto (sugar-crusted sweet rolls) will be served.
Carlos Gonzalez, 60, an AARP volunteer, says the holiday is a way to honor deceased loved ones while focusing on the circle of life, rather than death. “It’s a celebration of life,” he said.
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is also offering a free exhibit of altars through Friday, Nov. 11. — Laura Tillman