Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a vibrant community celebration honoring both los muertos and the beauty of life.
Day of the Dead celebrations began in Central America and have roots in indigenous and Catholic traditions. Sweet sugar skulls, bright colors, and bitter-smelling cempazuchitl (calendula) flowers evoke vibrant, ephemeral life and bitter, inevitable death—embracing both.
Each year Tieton Arts & Humanities hosts a celebration and creates a large community altar for everyone to add to. Visitors can bring photos of loved ones, write messages, help decorate, and bring candies or breads. This provides a special opportunity to remember those who are no longer with us.
This year’s celebration features arts and crafts activities, sandpainting by Oaxacan artist Fulgencio Lazo, a photo exhibition of Guatemalan kites and Día de los Muertos traditions, a film presentation by YVTECH Digital Media Program students, an installation of tzompantli (traditional Aztec piece) and an alebrije (traditional Day of the Dead folk art sculpture contributed by the Mexican Consulate), face painting, silk screening, and an array of music and dance performances. There will be a contest for the best Catrin and Catrina!
Performances include the Yakima Flute Troop, Wapato Dancers, poetry by Davis High School students, Aztec Dancers, La Banda Gozona, Oaxaca Cultural Group, and a parade of Catrinas and Catrines.