Saturday, November 1, 2014

Celebrate Dia de los muertos in Murphys

Murphys Businesses Honor the Dead in the Land of the Skulls on Dia de los Muertos, November 1, 2014 Murphys merchants and tasting rooms will be celebrating the Fifth Annual Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, on November 1st from 11-7 pm. Participating businesses and vendors will be offering authentic cultural art, food, sugar skulls, face painting and live music, as well as displaying ofrendas (altars) celebrating the lives of those who have passed on but are with us in heart and spirit on the Day of the Dead. We’ll once again include a Catrina and Catrin Dress Contest at 6:00 pm Saturday afternoon at the Black Bart Theater followed by a Candle Light Procession to the Park. Those wishing to participate in the procession should meet in front of the Black Bart Theater at 6:45 pm. Make sure to bring your flashlight and warm clothing. Mexican hot chocolate and pan de muertos will be available for purchase after the brief ceremony.

New this year will be a celebration in the Park from 3:15 pm to 5:45 pm featuring folklorico dancers, rondalla musicians and a storyteller. Traditional food and drinks will be for sale in the Park until 5:45 pm or whenever we sell out. Purchases of food, wine and beer will benefit the Murphys Community Club who are responsible for maintaining and improving our lovely park along the creek.

This ancient holiday traces it’s roots back to the indigenous cultures of Mexico, Latin America and Europe but has become inextricably intertwined with the Catholic observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day over time. Although this celebration is associated with the dead, it is traditionally a period full of life, happiness, color, food, family and fun. In Mexico, outdoor markets display and sell symbolic items like special breads, pottery, baskets, candles, paper puppets, candy skulls and flowers. Skeletons are also an important symbol of this day and are displayed hugging, dancing and laughing in shop windows and on street corners.

Traditional activities are believed to “welcome the souls of the dead.” The souls are said to return each year to enjoy the pleasures of the life that they once had. These souls are thought to return as spirits from another world to be with their loved ones for a few brief hours. A widely held belief is that the souls of children (angelitos) return first so food and gifts appealing to children are set out for them. The adult dead are said to return a day or two later and their favorite items as well as elaborate food and drink are set out for them as well. It is believed that candle light as well as the scent of marigolds and copal incense will help the ghosts find their way back home.

The public is welcome to participate in the remembrance of loved ones by contributing items to the altars. Please contact the individual business owner first though to make sure there is an appropriate space for your item.

Like the event on Facebook Dia De Los Muertos Murphys California where you can also find additional information on this year's celebration, a downloadable program and map and sign up to participate in the Catrin/Catrina contest. Or visit us at for additional information.