Corazón Healdsburg and the City of Healdsburg announce a celebration weekend carrying out the traditions of the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos -- the Day of the Dead. All are invited to this family-focused, community-engaging and cross-cultural weekend.
Day of the Dead is a beautiful ritual in which Mexicans joyously remember their deceased loved ones. They create altars dedicated to their ancestors, celebrating their lives with their favorite foods, drinks and music.
Corazón Healdsburg Executive Director Leticia Romero explained, “We carry the traditions forward not only to honor our ancestors, but to remind us always that we are part of a lineage, a history and tradition that is with us, still.”
The Healdsburg celebration this year begins on the downtown plaza on Saturday, October 27, with an outdoor screening of the animated movie “Coco” in English with Spanish subtitles. Through the eyes of a young musician, the film shows how Dia de los Muertos enriches and supports all who participate in the making of altars and preparation of ofrendas, or offerings.
Structurally, ofrendas include a three-tiered altar. The lower portion is dedicated to the underworld, the next to the world of the living, and the third to the afterlife. Photos of departed loved ones are framed or affixed to the altar. Offerings often include the deceased’s favorite food and drink. Water is served to refresh the soul on its journey. Papel picado (cut paper) adorn the altar and capture the wind. Cempasuchitl, the Aztec term for marigolds, which grow and wilt quickly, reflect the fleeting nature of life and their aroma help lure a spirit back. Candles give light to help direct a path to this world. Personal belongings make the spirit comfortable and welcome upon return.
“While focused on the spirits of the departed, the purpose of creating ofrendas is also to bring healing to the living,” Romero added. “Dia de los Muertos is heritage, it is tradition, and it is healing.”
A Two-Day Event
The film “Coco” will be shown at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Families can bring chairs, blankets and sleeping bags, and complimentary hot chocolate and popcorn will be served.
The free event on Sunday, October 28, will start at 12:15 p.m. on the Healdsburg Plaza, which will be transformed with two stages for Latino dance and music performances. In the spirit of the traditional Dia de Los Muertos event, a community altar will hold the remembrances of ancestors, friends, relatives and loved ones. In the spirit of community, we will share in a posole feed. In the spirit of nurturing open-heartedness, we will give our children an outlet for play and creativity – all with the backdrop of live music.
Everyone is welcome to add photos and other remembrances at the community altar of loved ones who have died.
“This day of community and cross-cultural unity embodies the work of Corazón Healdsburg,” said Romero. “We invite everyone to come join in the feeling of connection, with past, present and with strength in building our future, together.”
Dia de los Muertos Details:
Saturday, October 27
6 p.m. Outdoor screening of “Coco” on the Healdsburg Plaza
Sunday, October 28 - Un Evento de Corazón/An Event of the Heart
12:15 p.m. Opening Ceremony, Aztec Dance Ritual
1 p.m. Sonora Dinamita
2:30 p.m. Ballet Folklorico
3 p.m. Presentation - Corazón Community Honors
3:15 p.m. El Valle de St. Helena Dance Group
4 p.m. Grupo Kual
6 p.m. Grup Kual finish