Rose Hills Memorial Park
Dia de Arte y Altares
ADMISSION IS FREE
Celebrate Dia de Arte y Altares at Rose Hills Memorial Park with art, music and storytelling and explore the cultural richness of the Dia de los Muertos festivities.
Dia de Arte y Altares
Sunday, October 15, 2017
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary
El Portal de la Paz – Gate 17
- Art displays
- Chalk art for children
- Food and much more
- Altar contest with prizes up to $1,000
The Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mexico dates back to the time of the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica; such as, the Aztec, Maya, Purépecha, Nahua, and Totonac. In the pre-Hispanic era, it was common to keep skulls and display them to symbolize death and rebirth. Death was viewed as a transition between life on earth and a new life in the hereafter surrounded by the Gods.
During the conquest of Mexico by Spain, the efforts to convert indigenous peoples to Catholicism moved the ritual and belief to coincide with Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. As the friars introduced faith, religion and art eventually became part of the indigenous rituals with ancient rites and beliefs. The result was a merger of beliefs and tradition that became today’s celebration of the dead.
Dia de los Muertos in Mexico is a colorful and festive event that is unique to other cultures. The Dia de los Muertos feast and celebration as we know it today was born of the fusion of two cultures. Flowers, gifts, fruits, candles and music are offered to honor the memory of loved ones.
Dia de Arte y Altares integrates the rich tradition of altars, Dia de Los Muertos art and beautiful cultural traditions.
The Day of the Dead is the one day of the year it is believed our deceased loved ones return to visit us. Altars are built to welcome them back. They will be thirsty and hungry after such a long journey and their favorite foods must be prepared to welcome them. The flowers and candles create a welcoming ambiance and one of celebration. Ofrendas of their favorite pastimes and saints of devotion will make them feel at home and will also help them ease their travels on their journey back.
There are several elements and offerings that contribute to the preparation of an altar. Each element and offering has meaning and is symbolic. The altar represents the four elements of Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.
Represented by harvest and fruits. Fruit is included for the delight of the deceased.
Represented by “Papel Picado” as it laces the altar and flutters with the breeze.
Water represents itself and the purity of the soul. Water is placed on the altar to quench the thirst and reinvigorate the deceased on their journey into the beyond.
Candles symbolize and serve as a guiding light for the ascension of the spirit. One candle is lit for the deceased and a second for a forgotten soul.
Other offerings incorporated into the altars include:
- Portrait of the deceased
- Pan de muerto (bread of the dead), the most common food offering for the spirits.
- Favorite meals of the deceased as well as favorite drinks
- Salt for purification and prevent deterioration of the body of the deceased from crumbling as it travels along the path to eternity
- Cempasuchitl-Marigolds, known as “the flower of the dead,” aid the spirits to wander back.
- Sugar skulls represent Miquiztli, the God of Death
- Religious articles and images of saints
- Copa, a fragrant incense to purify the altar location of evil spirits and connect earth with heaven
- Other adornments representative of the deceased
Enjoy building an altar to commemorate your loved one in a festive day of remembrance.
Rose Hills Memorial Park provides a beautiful setting at El Portal de la Paz for you to construct an altar to commemorate your loved ones. You can enter your altar in a contest for prizes.
Please complete the registration form and fax 323.213.3336 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dia de Arte y Altares will feature local artists and their Dia de Los Muertos artwork.
This year, Rose Hills Memorial Park will feature the “sand tapestries”, also known as “tapetes de arena.” Sand tapestries are one of the many cultural traditions of the Day of the Dead.
Sand tapestries originated in Oaxaca, Mexico. Tradition has it that after a person dies and is buried, a sand tapestry is crafted in their home. The tapestry typically illustrates a religious image such as a saint of the deceased’s devotion. For nine days, family members and friends gather in the family’s home to pray. On the last day, the sand tapestry is swept up. The sand is then taken to the cemetery and poured over the grave of the deceased.
Members of the Regional Organization of Oaxaca (ORO), an organization whose mission is to promote and preserve indigenous Oaxacan culture, will construct a sand tapestry at Dia de Arte y Altares. This is a unique experience to view firsthand the beautiful imagery created with dyed sawdust, sand, seeds, and flower petals used in these majestic sand tapestries.