Murphys to Host 4th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration
Saturday, November 2 from 12-5 p.m.
Did you know Calaveras means skull in Spanish? But not only that, skulls (and skeletons) happen to be an important symbol of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that’s celebrated throughout the world and by various cultures to honor family members and friends that have passed on.
And for the past several years, people have been gathering here in skull county to observe Day of the Dead in the quaint and historic town of Murphys, which hosts an authentic celebration of its own. This year, nearly 30 Murphys merchants and tasting rooms will be celebrating the Fourth Annual Day of the Dead on Saturday, November 2 from 12-5 pm.
Participating businesses will display alters or “ofrendas” celebrating the lives of those they honor and various locations will also offer traditional art, food, sugar skulls, and live music. Additionally, special activities appropriate for children and face painting will be available at Tanner Vineyards Tasting Room and the Murphys Library. Here’s a list of the 28 businesses that will be part of the Ofrenda Walking Tour:
And don’t be surprised if you see real-life skeletons walking down the street. As part of Murphys’ Day of the Dead celebration there will once again be a Catrina and Catrin Costume Contest at 4:30 p.m. at Murphys Creek Theatre with prizes from local merchants. It’s free to participate but registration is required. Email: [email protected] to sign up.
Additionally, visitors can participate in a candle light procession to St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Those wishing to participate in the procession should bring a flashlight and meet at The Spice Tin at 5:30 pm.
This one-of-a-kind annual event is not to be missed and is a great way to experience historic Murphys and Calaveras in a new light.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/DiaDeLosMurtosMurphysCalifornia
More About Day of the Dead
This ancient holiday traces its roots back to the indigenous cultures of Mexico, Latin America and Europe but has become inextricably intertwined with the Catholic observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day over time. Although this celebration is associated with the dead, it is traditionally a period full of life, happiness, color, food, family and fun. In Mexico, outdoor markets display and sell symbolic items like special breads, pottery, baskets, candles, paper puppets, candy skulls and flowers. Skeletons are also an important symbol of this day and are displayed hugging, dancing and laughing in shop windows and on street corners.
Traditional activities are believed to “welcome the souls of the dead.” The souls are said to return each year to enjoy the pleasures of the life that they once had. These souls are thought to return as spirits from another world to be with their loved ones for a few brief hours. A widely held belief is that the souls of children (angelitos) return first so food and gifts appealing to children are set out for them. The adult dead are said to return a day or two later and their favorite items as well as elaborate food and drink are set out for them as well. It is believed that candle light as well as the scent of marigolds and copal incense will help the ghosts find their way back home.