Dia de Los Muertos

Day of the Dead and Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations

Los Angeles is multi-cultural. 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.

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

Inormation updated for 2016 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

Main Fiesta Muertos:

  • Saturday-Sunday, October 25 – November 2, 2016
    •  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, 2016 / 10:00am-8:00pm
  • November 1 & 2, 2016 / 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, 2016

Art Walk

  • October 15, 2016 

    • 10:00 a.m.-7pm

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

Carrera de los Muertos – Run of the dead

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 29, 2016
    • Start and Finish at Olvera Street.  

El Dia De Los Muertos – Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Inormation updated for 2016 “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.

Theatrical presentations, processions, singers, etc. Contests for altar building. Honor and celebrate the memories of the beloved souls. See web site for more information.

  • Info: (877) 844-3837. http://www.ladayofthedead.com
    • Saturday October 29, 2016, noon-midnight
      • Altar setup on Friday, Oct. 28 – 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

George Newnam’s Casa de Calaveras – House of Skeletons

Inormation updated for 2016 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 Festival – Bowers Museum

Inormation updated for 2016 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

Sabor de Mexico Lindo – A Taste of Beautiful Mexico

Inormation updated for 2016 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. Includes family health fair.  This year’s major downtown event will pay tribute to the State of Michoacan, Mexico.  A special exhibit location of the foreign State’s artifacts, products and costumes will be on display for the attendees to visit and learn of the State’s culture.


Dia de Los Muertos – Boyle Heights 

Inormation updated for 2016 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, 2016
  • Self Help Graphics
    • 1300 East 1st Street, Los Angeles

Annual Día de los Muertos Exhibition

  • Thursday, October 20 – December 2, 2016

Noche de Ofrenda

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.

  • Saturday, October 29, 2016 / 7-10pm

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.

  • Info:  http://www.selfhelpgraphics.com/  or event details
    • Wednesday, November 2, 2016 / 5pm
    • Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School
      • 1200 Plaza Del Sol, 90033
      • (directly across from Self Help Graphics & Art)
    • Free
    • Come dressed in your best Katrin, Katrina, or Calaca attire for dancing, fotos, or just to be with the spirits and antepasados! 

Dia de los Muertos Festival – Canoga Park

Inormation updated for 2016  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.

Noche de Altares – Santa Ana

Inormation updated for 2016 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 5, 2016, 1 pm – 10 pm
    • Fiesta Marketplace 4th and Birch Streets, Santa Ana,
    • Admission: FREE!

Dia de los Muertos Cultural Festival – Rose Hills

(No event for 2016 due to construction issues.)

Share the rich tradition and history of Día de los Muertos. Rose Hills honors the tradition by celebrating with a cultural festival that is a family friendly event includes activities and performances for young and old a like: arts and craft workshops for children, artist showcases, altars, traditional food and drinks, vendors, stages with performances by local folklórico dance groups and a band.  Since 2010

Day of the Dead Family Fiesta – Old Town Pasadena

Day of the Dead Tour of Altars

Inormation updated for 2016 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.

  • Friday, October 28, 2016 to Sunday, October 30, 2016

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

Inormation updated for 2016 Zona Rosa Caffe and the Pasadena Playhouse presents the Annual Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead Event.  Enjoy a Mexican Zócalo where artists and the community can taste sugar skulls, smell fresh marigolds from Jacob Maarse, children’s calaca face painting and crafts bu Little June Bugs, 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, TLT Food and RWB! Listen to the sounds from Gonzophonic and Friends with special guests along with visual projections by Julian Felix from Culture Remixed. We are pleased to feature the works of Jose Ramirez, Cathy Ashworth, Kalli Arte, alter by Matt DeHaven & student art works from Pasadena City College GRFX for this special Dia de los Muertos Event and Art Exhibition. Also, grab some traditional Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead gifts/books from Olvera Candle Shop, Imix Books and score a great event tee from Dewey Tafoya live t-shirt silkscreening!!

Many of these works of art will be on display leading up to the event at Zona Rosa Caffe beginning October 8th and running through November 13th!!

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…

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