At the end of October, Mexican tradition honors our ancestors in a three day procession with dancing, bright colors, and food. Dia de los Muertos celebrates our decreased loved ones with a festival that was originally spent in the graveyard spending time with those lost.
Skulls, including the famous Calavera Catrina or fancy skeleton, are very common during Dia de los Muertos. They are not intended to be spooky but serve instead as a comforting reminder of those lost.
Below are some of the local Dia de los Muertos celebrations across Arizona. Select your region to see the events in your area:
TUCSON & SOUTHERN AZ
Feast With The Dearly Departed When: Oct. 24 – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Tucson Botanical Garden 4th Annual Feast with the Dearly Departed has become a signature event, celebrating the rich heritage of the Southwest and our vibrant Hispanic community. This family friendly event includes Day of the Dead face painters, sugar skull making, mariachis, delicious Sonoran food, an ofrenda (memorial shrine), and more.
Face Paint Town When: November 9 - 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Where: Hotel Congress, Tucson. Free face painting before a Downtown Tuscon procession. Live music, food & drink specials all night.
26th Annual All Souls Procession & Finale Ceremony When: November 8th, at 4pm Where: Tucson, gather on 6th Ave. A traditional procession with large skeletons, brightly colored dancers, and a sense of community in memory of lost loved ones. There will be music, opportunities to donate, and of course a whole lot of amazing people, costumes, and floats to look at!
2nd Annual Art Festival Day Of The Dead When: November 1st, 11am - 3pm Where: The Raven's Nest, 801 North 2nd Avenue, Ajo, AZ 85321 The Festival will include live music, folkloric dancing, traditional food, hands-on crafts, face painting and arts and craft vendors. An altar, created by the Ajo Council of the Fine Arts, will be available to bring offerings to honor your ancestors.
GREATER PHOENIX AREA
Dia de los Meurtos Festival at Mesa Arts Center When: Saturday, October 24 - Sunday, October 25, 2015 Where: Mesa Arts Center The Day of The Dead festival will feature delicious foods, a colorful mercado featuring an assortment of Dìa de los Muertos merchandise, jewelry, arts and crafts.
Dia de los Muertos PHX When: October 25th, 1 – 6 p.m. Where: Steele Indian School Park Together we will honor our ancestors and celebrate our heritage and traditions. Bring a picture or memento for the Community Altar so we can honor your beloved departed as well.
13th annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration When: October 31 - November 1, 2015 Where: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Included in garden admission: Take part in entertainment that will bring the history of the holiday to life through song, dance and storytelling. Visit the Ofrenda exhibition constructed by local artists and try delicious food and pastries all while enjoying the incredible atmosphere of the Garden.
Cuisine and Culture When: October 29th, 6:30 – 8:30- p.m. Where: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix. Join the celebration with a delicious evening as they unveil the secrets and cultural traditions of Dia de los Muertos. Members: $55 and General Public: $69. Pre-registration is required.
Día de los Muertos Festival at St. Mary’s Basilica When: November 1, 11am - 6pm Where: 231 N. 3rd Street, downtown Phoenix. This is Xico Gallery’s second year partnering with St. Mary’s Basilica to present the Dia de los Muertos Festival in the Plaza! The event will be full of great food, music, dancers, art, alters, vendors, and a procession around the Basilica.
Marigold Mural Project for Dia De Los Muertos When: Tuesday, October 20th through Saturday, October 24th, 2015 Where: 336 State Route 179 Sedona, AZ 86336 Create another incredible public mural in the Calle Independencia where visitors and community members can honor the loss of loved ones in their lives and connect with one another though art and public expression. Free to the public to join in!
Day of the Dead Festival When: October 24 and 25, from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m Where: Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff Visitors will enjoy two days of fine art and unique crafts, Ballet Folklórico and Aztec dancing, Mariachi music and Day of the Dead inspired crafts for the kids.
Day of the Dead When: November 1st, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Where: The Smoki Museum, Prescott Mariachis, ballet folkloric, Mexican baked goods, homemade tamales, and a cemetery procession at one are among the plans. We’ll have a children’s craft area, face painting, vendors and fun! Free admission.