Dia de Los Muetos Events in Los Angeles

Day of the Dead and Dia de Los Muertos Events in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is multi-cultural.  Dia de Los Muertos Events in Los Angeles are a foundation event in the fall.  There are many ways to celebrate then end of harvest season and the beginning of winter. Day of the Dead celebrations are technically on November 2nd, All Souls Day… but in Los Angeles, there’s more time needed to party… and salsa dance.

Come join the festivals to remember and celebrate your ancestors. Enjoy the traditions of our southern neighbors – good spicy food, music, dancing and don’t miss those candy skulls.

Olvera Street

There are many events during October that take place at Olvera Street.  Some run at the same time, others before the main events.

Annual Olvera Street Muertos Art Walk

2017 Update The Muertos Artwalk will bring together artists from the greater Los Angeles community and will create awareness for the work being done by OSMAF to keep cultural traditions alive in Los Angeles.  Join us for a day of family fun and entertainment. Over 30 local artists selling original artwork, clothing, jewelry, face painting and more!

Dia de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead – Olvera Street

2017 Update The Day of the Dead celebrations date back to the time of the Aztecs. For over 30 years, the merchants on Olvera Street have celebrated Dia de los Muertos. The celebration has evolved to incorporate the pre-Columbian, Aztec, Mayan and Catholic rituals surrounding death. Each night, a vibrant and colorful procession sets the stage for our ceremony.

Dia de los Muertos is, in fact, a celebration of life – it is not a time to mourn our loved ones, rather it is a time to remember the lives they lead and the many things they enjoyed during that life. Death is a part of life, and so we honor it. Dia de los Muertos at Olvera Street is the only celebration of its kind in Los Angeles – A nine (9) day festival, with altars on display, children’s workshops, face painting, and entertainment throughout.

Children’s Workshops for mask making, flower pasting, pinata. School groups, call for reservations. 

Check out their web site for a detailed explanation of the history and culture behind this celebration.  http://olvera-street.com or facebook.  Note each group’s web is a little different and they sometimes update late.  Make sure you’re looking at the right year.  We make sure we have the current info before updating.

Main Fiesta Muertos:

  • Saturday-Sunday, October 25 – November 2, 2017
    •  Weekday Entertainment – 5:00pm
    • Weekend Entertainment – all day

Novenario Procession and  blessings each night

Traditional Mayan Blessing/Soul Cleansing takes place before and after the procession

  • Procession includes:
    • Grupo Tartalejos – an indigenous Aztec group leading the procession with incense and ceremonial blessing
    • Aztec Dancers
    • Parade of “Living Muertos” – particpants dress up as skeletons in colorful traditional, and not-so-traditional costumes
    • Procession leads to nightly ceremony in the Kiosko, where the loved ones of a merchant family or special community member is chosen to be honored
    • Free sweet bread and champurrado are given to all in attendance
  • October 25-November 2, 2016
    • Nightly at 7:00pm 
  • Olvera Street and Broadway, Pueblo de Los Angeles, downtown LA.
    • Olvera Street Gallery Entrance
  • Free to the public
  • Kids welcome

Face Painting

Face Painters will be on site to turn you into a Calavera!

  • October 29 & 30, 2017 / 10:00am-8:00pm
  • November 1 & 2, 2017 / 4:00-9:00pm
    • There is a charge for Face Painting. See individual booths for pricing.

Community Altars

  • Las Ofrendas
    • On display in the Plaza
  • October 28 – November 2, 2017

Children’s Workshops for Elementary Schools

??? For School Groups:  Mask Coloring, Necklace Making, Flower Painting. Pinata!

  • October 19-21, 26-28, November 1-2, 2016,   10 am -12 pm
    • Wednesday-Friday, except Halloween
  • RSVP Required

Run of the Dead – An epic multicultural 5k Fun Run celebrating Dia de los Muertos.   Music, dancing, calaveras and more! Be part of the event and register today!

  •  Info:  losmuertos5k.com
    •  Saturday, October 28, 2017
    • Start and Finish at Olvera Street.  
    • See website for pricing.

El Dia De Los Muertos – Hollywood Forever Cemetery

2017 Update “A unique way for ancient cultures to “befriend” death, Day of the Dead is one of the most important celebrations in the Hispanic culture. An unparalleled feast for the senses, the celebration is known for elaborate costumes, ornate Altars, savory foods and performances of all kinds.  A blend of respect and humor make Day of the Dead unique. The tradition reminds us that death is as natural as life, and that remembering a loved one does not necessarily need be a somber experience.

Features include: A vibrant traditional procession in the home of Hollywood’s Immortals with traditional Aztec blessings and Regional Musical-Dance group dedications, musical performances by Grammy Award winning recording artists, 100+ Altars, hundreds of Aztec Ritual Dancers in full costume, four stages featuring music and theatrical performances, an Art Exhibition in the Cathedral Mausoleum, costume contest for the best dressed Calaca (skeleton), children’s arts project area, Arts and Crafts vendors, Food vendors.

Contests for altar building. Honor and celebrate the memories of the beloved souls. See web site for more information. Since 1999.

  • Info: (877) 844-3837. http://www.ladayofthedead.com
    • Saturday October 28, 2017, noon-midnight
      • Altar setup on Friday, Oct. 27 – 5pm onward
    • 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard (Hollywood Forever Cemetery )
    • $20 adults (exact change, please), kids under 8 and seniors 65 and over, free until 4pm
    • Costumes: Dia de Los Muertos attire strongly encouraged – Come dressed in your finest Calaca apparel


Sabor de Mexico Lindo – A Taste of Beautiful Mexico – Huntington Park

2017 Update Huntington Park presents Southern California’s largest 3 day Downtown Street Festival saluting National Hispanic Heritage Month.   Live music on concert stages, main stage with live performers, Special Guests – Celebrities, a Plaza De Mariachi with various performers, a free community Health Fair, Corporate Exhibits, Free Samplings, Arts & Crafts, Foods from around the world, along with a children’s petting zoo, horse rides, plus two areas of amusement rides for all ages and a lot more! Covers 9 city blocks with fiesta fun.  Since 1992. 

Dia de Los Muertos – Boyle Heights 

2017 Update A month of celebration, art and remembrance in Boyle Heights.

Community Art Workshops

Join the SHG Family for our yearly Día de los Muertos Community Art Workshops. All materials and teachers are provided by Self Help Graphics! Please be on time, wear clothes that are not too precious, and enjoy a Saturday afternoon of fun & tradición with friends and family.

  • Saturday’s in October, 2017
  • Self Help Graphics
    • 1300 East 1st Street, Los Angeles

Annual Día de los Muertos Exhibition

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an integral part of the cultural and artistic landscape of Los Angeles. Today’s interpretation of the sacred indigenous tradition has been remixed and recycled into a commercial holiday blending Mexican, Latino, and American pop culture iconography with the spiritual aesthetics of the event’s indigenous and Catholic influences. Self Help Graphics (SHG) will trace the evolution of Día de los Muertos in Los Angeles and beyond through an exhibition and publication documenting its four-decade history of art, ritual, and celebration. Since 1972, when SHG organized its first public ritual for Día de los Muertos, its annual commemoration has developed into a complex and unique public observance. Día de los Muertos, A Cultural Legacy: Past, Present, and Future will include historical prints, photographs, and ephemera representing each decade of SHG’s commemorations, as well as three newly commissioned altars.  Presenting sponsors includes The Getty.

Noche de Ofrenda – with Grand Park

A month of art workshops concludes with the construction of a large community altar at Self Help Graphics & Art’s Noche de Ofrenda at Grand Park. Over  40 plus organizations, partners and artists installing altars of all kinds. Led by premier altar-maker and community resident, Ofelia Esparza, participants are invited to place their newly created offerings or those brought from home together in creating a community altar for display throughout our Dia de los Muertos festivities. This inspirational and important art of traditional altar making serves as a way for the community to contribute their memories with special tokens of remembrance. Featuring special performances as part of this special evening.

  • Info:     Event info
    • Saturday, October 28, 2017 / 7-9pm
    • Grand Park
      • 200 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles

Annual dia de Los Muertos Celebration

In the heart of East Los Angles – The event will feature an art exhibition, elaborate altars built by premier altar makers in memory of deceased loved ones, children’s art workshops, Aztec dance blessing and ceremony, music, arts and craft vendors as well as delicious local food.

Participants are encouraged to dress in Calavera mask’s and attire. Since 1972.

Dia De Cultura – A Day of the Dead Celebration – Highland Park

2017 Update It’s a Dia De Los Muertos Celebration, in which we focus our prayers and remembrance to our dearly departed, as they journey through their spiritual quest.  We invite all guest to submit a picture (in advance) of their loved ones who have departed so we may honor, remember and pay tribute during the blessing of the community altar. There will be live music, food trucks, artisan vendors, the blessing of the altar and much more.

Cine Now!  The Latino Lens Shorts – The Highland Park Independent Film Festival (HPIFF) is proud to showcase an encore screening at this years ‘Dia De Los Muertos Celebration’. We will be screening films from our ‘Cine Now! The Latino Lens Shorts Program’ starting at 5pm…  http://www.hpifilmfest.com/

Dia de los Muertos Festival – Canoga Park

2017 Update Día de los Muertos, (The Day of the Dead), is a celebration, which represents the merging of an ancient Aztec celebration with Catholicism. The tradition grew from the belief that the souls of the dead return each year to visit with and be entertained by their loved ones.  Many of the traditions are consistent with All Souls and All Saints Day.  It is a day of celebration.  Celebrate Aztec culture and party with the whole family at a Street Festival in the heart of the valley. Vendors, classic car show. See website for stage events.

Day of the Dead Festival – Bowers Museum

Day of the Dead Skeleton- Dia de los Muertos originated years and years ago in Mexico, where it is still widely celebrated to this day. The holiday is a combination of pre-Hispanic indigenous beliefs and Spanish Catholic beliefs. If you would like to learn more about this special holiday come and visit Kidseum were children will be able to design and decorate their own glow in the dark skeleton. Also, if you would like to become a Day of the Dead skull, one of our talented face painters can transform you into one.

Clay Halloween Pumpkin- How did Halloween begin? The holiday traces back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. Many traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. On this day Children will be able to design their own clay pumpkin or jack-o-lantern with the help of one Kidseum’s talented artists.

  • Info: http://www.bowers.org or or 714-567-3600
    • Sat-Sun, October 29-30, 2016, 10-4pm,
    • Bowers Museum Courtyard
      • 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana.
    • Tickets: $15 / students $12 / under 12 free

Noche de Altares – Santa Ana 

2017 Update Noche de Altares is a community-based event celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), one of México’s oldest, indigenous festivals. Organized by volunteers, the purpose of the celebration is to honor the ancient traditions of the festival and bring community members together through art, culture, and compassion.

In addition to viewing beautifully created altars, attendees will be entertained by cultural performances and live music. Children can get their face painted and participate in free, art workshops. Scavenger hunt. Local artists will be selling their wares and local restaurants will be selling their most delicious dishes. Since 1993.

  • Info: http://www.nochedealtares.org/ or 714.662.2002
    • Saturday, November 4, 2017, 1 pm – 10 pm
    • Fiesta Marketplace 4th and Birch Streets, Santa Ana,
    • Admission: FREE!

Dia de Arte y Altares Cultural Festival – Rose Hills

Dia de Arte y Altares a celebration honoring the memories of loved ones.   It integrates the rich tradition of altars, Dia de Los Muertos art and beautiful cultural traditions.  Art displays, Chalk art for children, Food and much more.  Altar contest with prizes up to $1,000.

Featuring the Oaxacan style sand tapestries tradition!  This is a unique experience to view firsthand the beautiful imagery created with dyed sawdust, sand, seeds, and flower petals used in these majestic sand tapestries.

  • Info: http://arteyaltares-rosehills.com/
    • Sunday, October 15, 2017
      • 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier
      • El Portal de la Paz – Gate 17
      • Nearest cross streets – Workman Mill  & Pioneer
      • Shuttle Service Available inside park from gate 17
    • Free for all family

Day of the Dead Family Fiesta – Old Town Pasadena

Day of the Dead Tour of Altars

2017 Update In the spirit of the traditional Day of the Dead Mexican holiday, visitors can take a self-guided tour throughout participating businesses in Old Pasadena to see beautiful examples of traditional and contemporary altars created to honor the dearly departed. The creative altar installations are crafted by merchants and artists and provide a beautiful overview to the symbolism and history of the holiday.

Free and open to all.  Throughout Old Pasadena.  During participating business hours.

Family Fiesta

The playful spirit of Day of the Dead comes to life with the free Family Fiesta, designed for families to learn about the holiday together during a colorful, educational, entertaining afternoon.

Come enjoy an outdoor celebration that features:

  • Free calavera (skeleton) face painting
  • Children’s art activities hosted by the Armory Center for the Arts
  • Aztec fire dancers performance
  • Mariachi and marimba musical performances
  • Community altar installation

Storytelling with the award-winning Olga Loya, who explores the history of the holiday tradition with playful stories and folktales and creates a participatory altar with the help of her audience.   Curated artisan village with holiday-themed artwork, jewelry, accessories, home décor created by local artists

Annual Dia de Los Muertos – Pasadena

2017 Update  Enjoy a Mexican Zócalo where artists and the community can taste sugar skulls, smell fresh marigolds from Jacob Maarse, children’s calaca face painting, crafts and painting by Little June Bugs, Armory Center for the Arts, KidsArt, the famous Bob Baker Marionettes, Quetzal Folklorico dancers, wine tasting at Monopole Wine, polaroid photos from Walt Girdner Photo Studio & Gallery, food/drink from Zona Rosa Caffe, and beer garden at The Stand! Listen to the sounds from CALDO with special guests along with visual projections by Julian Felix from Culture Remixed. We are pleased to feature the art works of Celina Jacques, Lalo Alcaraz, alter by Stephanie Pinto & student art works from Pasadena City College GRFX for this special Dia de los Muertos Event and Art Exhibition. See the alters in Pasadena Playhouse courtyard by Liz Espinoza. Also, grab some traditional Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead gifts/books from Olvera Candle Shop, Imix Books, Lunasol Mexican Vintage, artist Cathy Ashworth and more! Get a great event tee or tote bag from Antwon Jackson – Good Karma Prints live t-shirt silkscreening!!

Day of the Dead Celebration – FIGat7th New Event

2017 Update FIGat7th is celebrating Day of the Dead in style with tequila, music, and face painting! The festivities include candy skull face painting by Color Me Face Painting, Halloween glamour eyes by MAC Cosmetics, and a complimentary Tequila Herradura tasting by Loteria Grill, as well as a cash margarita bar in the Courtyard. Live DJs will spin tunes all day, including KCRW DJ.  See web for listed schedule. 

Head over to Boo News for more sources for even more events.

 Da Graveyard….

Stuff that we can’t get current info on, or has been canceled…

George Newnam’s Casa de Calaveras – House of Skeletons

View George Newnam’s annual display of life-size Skeletons in the Casa de Calaveras – House of Skeletons special exhibit. — A visual narrative of installations chronicling the spiritual journey of Jose and Gloria Calavera during Mexico’s El Dia de Los Muertos, The Day of the Dead. An educational, multi-cultural walk-through attraction featuring life-size fully dressed skeleton figures aided by black lighting, props and music.

  • Info:   https://www.facebook.com/DayOfTheDeadAttraction    for list of yearly events, the videos and more info.
    • October 22 – November 7,  2016 /  noon – 7pm  
    • See it at:  Fiesta de Reyes
      • Old Town San Diego Historical Park
        • 2734 Calhond St., San Diego
    • Tickets: $7

Day of the Dead: Altars and Ephemera – Folk Tree Exhibit

The show features traditional and other altars as well as work by local artists and Mexican folk art commemorating this major holiday.

Reception day includes face-painting, book-signing, the artists, and more

Gallery talk: “An overview of the Day of the Dead”

In honor of these dates, The Folk Tree annually invites Los Angeles artists to assemble altars for people or events of significance to them. Highly personal, these altars often include photographs and other mementos, letters, candles and offerings of food. In addition to lost loved ones, in the past artists have created altars for victims of tragedies and violence, for well-known figures who have died, and for deceased pets.

  • Info: http://www.folktree.com/    or    facebook
    • Exhibit: September 27 – November 2, 2014 

      • Hours are: M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5
    • Reception: October 11, 2014, Sat 2-6pm
    • Gallery Talk:  October 18, 2014, 3pm
    • The Folk Tree, 217 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena
      • minutes walking distance from the Gold Line’s Del Mar station, and just south of Old Pasadena.

The Day of the Dead Celebration – Long Beach

Art, music & food. Street Block Party.  Altar contest. Cultural Presentations. Face painting. Photo-booth. Beer Garden. Live music from 5pm-10pm: Conjunto Nueva Ola. Very Be Careful.

Dia De los Muertos Festival – Cal Poly Pomona

??? Cal Poly Pomona as hosts an annual Dia De los Muertos Festival to honor, pray, and remember friends and family members who have past away. This tradition includes eating favorite foods such as mole, pan de muerto (sweet bread), tamales, champurado, and many other delicious foods. Traditional face painting will be provided to everyone for free. Observe different and unique Altars or Ofrendas, that are built to honor the memories of our ancestors.

  • Info: http://www.cpp.edu     or (909) 869-5035 or Event Details
    • Wednesday, October 24, 2012

      • 6:00pm-9:00pm
    • Cal Poly Pomona
      • Bronco Commons
    • Free Family Event / Parking $5