Día de Muertos celebration Saturday at Esther Short Park

Annual Day of the Dead officially begins Monday but Vancouver Ballet Folklorico is holding Día de Muertos celebration on Saturday evening at Esther Short Park, to honor family and friends who have died, and this year, an event for healing
Annual Day of the Dead officially begins Monday but Vancouver Ballet Folklorico is holding Día de Muertos celebration on Saturday evening at Esther Short Park, to honor family and friends who have died, and this year, an event for healing.

Day of the Dead celebrates family and friends who have passed

The city of Vancouver is inviting folks for a Day of the Dead ancestral celebration Saturday evening at Esther Short Park.

Día de Muertos is a celebration of life, and this year, organizers are hoping for the event to become a time of healing, according to a release from the city.

The free event is presented by Vancouver Ballet Folklorico. 

“With the pandemic and everything that has happened the last two years, it’s a good opportunity to bring it out to the community,” said Anna Cruz, director of the Vancouver Ballet Folklorico.

In the past, the group held the event at a library, attracting hundreds of people. This year, the hope is that more people can experience Día de Muertos.

“This time, we want everyone to come and participate and find some healing through the process,” Cruz said.

Learn more about this traditional Mexican celebration while experiencing a Procession of the Ofrendas and Burial of Sadness, among other traditions associated with the day. The event starts at 5 p.m. Luminarias, small paper lanterns, will be handed out around 5:30 p.m. 

There will be traditional Mexican dancing and live music. 

Cruz noted that Día de Muertos should not be confused with Halloween. Still, she encourages people to wear traditional face paintings, in honor of Día de Muertos, if they feel comfortable. Cruz said those not familiar with the tradition should do some research online prior to painting their faces. 

Cruz said the expectation is to showcase flowers near the eyes and smiles in the face paint. 

“The skull is happy,” she said.

Día de Muertos is a celebration, to honor family and friends who have died. 

“This is more cultural than commercial,” Cruz said.

The celebration at the park is Saturday. The Day of the Dead begins Monday and ends Tuesday.

Vancouver Ballet Foklorico’s vision is to work to invigorate the community of Clark County and beyond with musical and  colorful installation of traditional dances, celebrations, and crafts of Mexico, according to the organization’s website.

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