This Town is Dead

Skulls and dead people might seem pretty spooky, and the two days of celebration might come fairly close together, but Halloween and Day of the Dead aren’t the same thing. Both tie in, to some extent, to the Catholic All Saints’ Day on November 1, but whereas Halloween is a precursor to that holiday with a heavily Celtic influence, the Mexican Día de los Muertos comes the day after and sports a mythology rooted in the indigenous Mexican tradition. The biggest difference, though, is that Day of the Dead, in opposition to Halloween’s emphasis on ghosts and candy, is essentially about remembering the departed, about family, about community.

That’s what Erik Mason wants to put front and center at the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center’s La Ofrenda de los Muertos: Honoring the Days of the Dead, an exhibit devoted to showcasing the art and culture of the celebration. “All of it is built by people in the community,” he says. “This year, we have a Tree of Life, where people can bring in photos of their loved ones and attach them to the tree. So it’s a very community-centric exhibit.”

The exhibit opens today at the museum, 400 Quail Road in Longmont, but activities continue throughout the month, with the main event coming up October 30 with the Community Celebration, where there are bands and food. “The museum is just filled with activities related to Day of the Dead,” Mason says. “It’s by far our biggest event of the year.”

For more information on the LMCC’s Day of the Dead happenings, go to www.ci.longmont.co.us/museum or call 303-651-8374.
Oct. 9-Nov. 7, 2010

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte