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Santa Monica Celebrates the Day of the Dead

Frank Gruber for City Council





Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pico Business Improvement District
7th Annual Pico Festival
Sunday, October 28th

By Lookout Staff

October 29, 2012 -- Santa Monica residents looking to honor their departed loved ones in a traditional way will find no shortage of options next week as the City celebrates the Day of the Dead.

Woodlawn Cemetery will host its first Day of the Dead celebration on November 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., when visitors will be invited to make traditional crowns of marigolds to honor their dead.

“The traditional Mexican celebration will offer a variety of ways for participants to discover the philosophy and history of the day,” City officials said.

Visitors will also have a chance to tour the cemetery and learn about famous locals, including activist Thelma Terry, developer Abbot Kinney, actor and conservationist Leo Carrillo and astronaut Sally Ride, who was recently interred at the cemetery.

There will also be a screening of a documentary about the traditions surrounding the Mexican holiday.

Visitors are invited to “participate in the closing Nahuatl/Indigenous Ceremony with live traditional music and enjoy fresh tamales which will be available for sale,” officials said.

On November 1, Highways Performance Space at the 18th Street Arts Center (1651 18th St.) invites residents to bring offerings to be placed at an altar. On November 4 at 3:30 p.m., visitors are invited to “participate in a Ritual Ceremony to welcome and honor all ancestors and departed with theater, live music, traditional pan de muerto and tamales, and a celebration of the cycle of life,” officials said.

The Santa Monica Fairview Library (2101 Ocean Park Blvd) invites children -- from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade -- to drop-in from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for some traditional Mexican arts and crafts.

Santa Monica High School's Robertson Art Gallery will host a Dia de los Muertos exhibit, opening November 1 with dance, music and food from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

On November 2, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. “bring photos of loved ones and items to be placed on the annual altar” at Virginia Avenue Park. On the same day, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., residents are invited to stop by Edison Language Academy for homemade “tamales, music, traditional crafts and tours.”

The Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holiday, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, usually celebrated on November 2.

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