Dia de los Muertas Festival in Las Vegas

A coalition of several Las Vegas activists and community organizations (including Food Not Bombs Las Vegas) are collaborating on this year’s Dia los de Muertos celebration to honor victims of police violence. The festival, which translates to “Day of the Dead” in English, will be held on November 1st at Lorenzi Park. Public observances are set to begin at 6pm. In addition, set up will begin at 4pm. Anyone who would like to participate is invited to be a part of the festivities.

Dia De Los Muertos 2020 Schedule
Schedule of events for Dia de los Muertos

In a public invitation for the event, members of Organize The State Out stated:

Join us in building an Ofrenda for all the precious beings lost to police terrorism, as well as those killed while protesting police violence. The Day of the Dead is a celebration of life where the dead and the living are both invited to celebrate!

You should bring: a framed photo of someone who passed away due to police terror, flowers, candles, food, or objects that the person who passed away may want to enjoy on their visit. You may also want to paint your face respectfully or adorn yourself with flowers.

Anyone will be free to share stories of those lost, poems, or songs and all are welcome.

~ For more information contact “Organize the State Out” #OTSO via email at [email protected] ~
That same email address can also be used for PayPal donations. Donations for future community actions are always needed and solidarity efforts are very much welcomed.

Local activists Munguwakike Tenisha (in studio) and Soldadera Sanchez (via phone) from the radical collective known as “Organize The State Out” discuss Dia de los Muertos (among many other things) on the ACAB Radio Las Vegas Podcast.

Día de los Muertos Traditions

For those unfamiliar, Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration. A blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture, the holiday is celebrated each year from October 31- November 2. The roots of the Day of the Dead, celebrated in contemporary Mexico and among those of Mexican heritage in the United States and around the world, go back some 3,000 years, to the rituals honoring the dead in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The Aztecs and other Nahua people living in what is now central Mexico held a cyclical view of the universe, and saw death as an integral, ever-present part of life.

El Día de los Muertos is not, as is commonly thought, a Mexican version of Halloween, though the two holidays do share some traditions, including costumes and parades. On the Day of the Dead, it’s believed that the border between the spirit world and the real world dissolve. During this brief period, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones. In turn, the living family members treat the deceased as honored guests in their celebrations, and leave the deceased’s favorite foods and other offerings at gravesites or on the ofrendas built in their homes. Ofrendas can be decorated with candles, bright marigolds called cempasuchil alongside food, like stacks of tortillas and fruit.

The most prominent symbols related to the Day of the Dead are calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls). During contemporary Day of the Dead festivities, people commonly wear skull masks and eat sugar candy molded into the shape of skulls.

Dia de los Muertas Festival in Las Vegas
A coalition including several Las Vegas activists and community organizations are collaborating on a Dia los de Muertos festival on November 1st at 6pm (if you want to help set up that begins at 4pm)

Schedule of Events:

  1. Ofrenda set up: 4pm
  2. Event begins at 5:30pm
  3. 6pm Calpulli Tlatelolco Performance
  4. 6:30pm Dia de los Muertos Workshop
  5. 7-9 pm Enjoy:
    Vegan Pan Dulce – Dancing – Open Mic – Education – Love – Friends – Family

    To Be Welcomed Back:
    Victims of Police Terrorism
    Leslie Polacios
    Those Lost in ICE Detention
    Border Crossing Victims
    Animal Friends

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