(by Jen Ward) Días de los Muertos - or Day of the Dead - has become an important celebration for communities around the Bay Area. From altars to food to music, it’s a community gathering that welcomes everyone.
Here are some of the Day of the Dead happenings in our communities.
The Oakland Museum of California is hosting its annual Day of the Dead exhibit, which features the work of a wide range of artists, students and museum docents.
“Forgotten Stories, Remarkable Lives” celebrate this year’s exhibit Sunday with an opening ritual, craft activities, food and dance and music performances.
The exhibit runs through Dec. 9 and will offer gallery tours, demonstrations of traditional Meso-American arts as well as local Days of the Dead merchandise. The event is free with regular museum admission.
For more information, visit www.museumca.org.
In San Francisco, La Cocina is hosting an evening exploring the Day of the Dead food and culture connection in the Mission from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, with one of the graduates of its incubator program. Chef Luis Valdez will teach participants how to make traditional breads and other dishes for Day of the Dead. The event includes dinner and drinks.
For more information, visit: www.lacocinasf.org/events/october-24th-dia-de-los-muertos.
Berkeley also is getting in on the celebrations with the fourth annual Dìa de los Muertos Celebration to be held on from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. It will include food trucks, a wine and beer garden and free skeletal face painting and art projects.
The event, sponsored by the North Shattuck Association, will be held on Shattuck Avenue between Rose and Vine streets in Berkeley. Costumes and papier maché giant heads are encouraged.
For more information, visit: www.anotherbullwinkelshow.com/day-of-dead.
Take a look back at photos of last year’s OMCA’s community celebration for dia de los muertos by Eric K. Arnold/EKAphotography.
Although what she had planned to look for that day was a cheong san with her brother’s fiancé at one of the few Chinese dress shops in Oakland, she found something else, too - a Chinatown building with a long-term graffiti problem.
The owner of the dress shop told Huen that the building’s businesses were entrenched in a repetitive and expensive cycle: Painting over the graffiti (which usually cost about $400), watching the wall get covered, shelling out more cash and watching the money be wasted yet again. “We looked up at this wall. It was this huge, beautiful wall.
One of the few really big walls in Chinatown that was just blank,” Huen recalled. “And all of a sudden I just kind of envisioned there being a mural there.”
Specifically, Huen envisioned the Chinese zodiac’s majestic dragon painted on the three-story, 50-foot tall and 40 foot wide space; a mural that would reflect and honor the culture and community of the area. Last week, that vision is becoming a reality."