Día de Los Muertos, a two-day holiday on Nov. 1 and 2, celebrates life and death. Once a year, the departed come back to the land of the living to reunite with their families. Family members and friends create ofrendas for late loved ones to encourage them to visit. They usually include:
- pictures of departed family members
- their favorite foods and drinks
- bright yellow marigolds to lead the way
Día de los Angelitos
The holiday starts at midnight on Nov. 1 with Día de los Angelitos, the day the spirits of all deceased children are reunited with their families. The ofrendas/altars for the children typically include:
- children’s photos
- their favorite snacks, candies, and toys.
Día de los Difuntos
The next midnight, Día de los Difuntos begins, which commemorates the departed adults. Along with their photos and favorite foods/drinks, the ofrendas for adults may also include:
- tequila, mezcal, cigarettes, pan de muerto, and more delights.
Día de los Muertos
The community joins together the following morning Nov 2 for Día de los Muertos for different events such as dressing up as calaveras (skeletons) or throwing parades. Cemetery visits are made this morning and the marigold flowers and gifts that were on the ofrendas decorate the gravesites.
This year, you can celebrate the Día de los Muertos holiday in Austin at the following events:
The Mexic-Arte Museum’s 39th Annual Viva La Vida Festival and Parade is back in full swing this year. The festival and parade will take place on Sat., Oct. 29. The grand procession will begin at noon and will go down Sixth Street towards the festival activities on E. 4th Street and Congress Avenue. The free festival will end at 6 p.m.
Mavericks Dance Hall in Buda will host a Día de los Muertos Celebration on Sun., Oct. 30. The festivities will feature live Tejano music from Grupo Siggno starting at 6 p.m. This past May, Grupo Siggno visited Uvalde during the memorials of the victims of the Robb Elementary shooting. Grupo Siggno played music for the mourners, including “Ya no me importa,” which was one of the victims Xavier Lopez’s favorite song. Tickets here.
️Want to honor your late loved ones? The “Nuestra Comunidad/Our Community- Memory and Remembrance Ofrenda” is a large community altar/ofrenda that commemorates those who have passed away. This year, the exhibit will have a section dedicated to the victims of the Uvalde school shooting. Catch the Día de los Muertos exhibit at the Mexic-Arte Museum now until Nov. 20.
️ Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park will be transformed by artist Yliana Lara into a community altar for Día de los Muertos. People are invited to place images or decorations that commemorate their loved ones on the altar. For those who want to remember their pets, check out an alebrijes altar designed by artist Ernest Ramirez. Also, enjoy a free two-day Día de los Muertos celebration on Nov. 1 and 2 from 6-9 p.m. that includes live music, dance performances, and more.
Join the ESB-MACC for their 15 th annual Día de los Muertos celebration from Nov. 1-5. The free multi-day festivities include the opening reception for Austin Studio Tours group exhibit, ofrenda viewings, community altar building, and ends with a gran fiesta on Nov. 5 from 5-10 p.m.
Uplift diversity, inclusion and awareness at a Día de los Muertos music festival by EQ Austin at 3Ten ACL Live on Nov. 2. More than 30 featured performers including Mélat and The Tiarras. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show here.
️Honor of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting at La Peña during Día de los Muertos. You can visit this special ofrenda, installed by artist Carmen Alvarez de Euran and curator Cecilia Sánchez Duarte, through the month of November.
Celebrate Monarch Appreciation Day during Día de los Muertos at the Monarchs on Manor: A Roots & Wings Festival Event on Nov. 2 from 6-9 p.m.. This free festival includes live music by Fandango Tejas, kid-friendly crafting, as well as some Día de los Muertos traditions. Learn from Vortex Theatre staff members about the Butterfly Bar, which is a butterfly sanctuary, and its efforts to preserve the space.