Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, will be celebrated at Gualala Arts Center on Sunday, November 3 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The celebration will include a traditional Mexican feast, a flute performance by Fide Mata, the Coast Folkloric Dancers and music throughout the day by Santa Rosa's Mariachi Tecoman.
Gualala Arts is asking the community to participate in this special celebration by creating shrines to their loved ones that will be installed at the Arts Center on Saturday, November 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. To get more information about creating a shrine or to register to participate, please contact Gualala Arts at
or call (707) 884-1138.
Day of the Dead shrine
While Día de los Muertos is a tradition unique to Mexico, it is becoming a very popular holiday in the United States. Javier Chavez, bilingual bicultural family advocate for Action Network, comments, "There is an appeal here which just crosses right over the culture line. People who are Latino, who speak no Spanish, really relate to the experience. I think this is because it's an integration of life and death - it's about family togetherness, and honoring who we are. This eases the grief of losing someone we care for, and it takes away the fear."
America's traditional Halloween is a fun holiday that most people enjoy, but the spirit (pardon the pun) of the holiday no longer rests on deeply held religious beliefs. It has evolved mostly into wearing elaborate costumes and for kids, collecting a large bag of candy.
Wikipedia elaborates on the history, "The ancient Celts believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to copy the evil spirits or placate them."
Dinner will consist of a choice of chicken mole, meat or vegetarian tamales, served with rice and beans. Traditional Mexican drinks agua fresca, Jamaica, Horchas, lemon and pineapple will be available for $2. Desserts, also $2, will include soft serve ice cream and brownies.
The schedule for the celebration is:
3:30 p.m. Fide Mata flute performance, 3 traditional pieces
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mariachi Tecoman
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Coast Folkloric Dancers
6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mariachi Tecoman
Tickets for the dinner are $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 17 when purchased in advance, and include free admission to the celebration. Advance tickets will be available starting the week of Oct. 12 at the Gualala Arts Center, Dolphin Gallery, Four-Eyed Frog Books and Action Network. Admission to the celebration on the day of the event will be $5 and those wishing to enjoy the dinner can purchase tickets for the dinner at the same prices as advance tickets.
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The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email
Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.