With our city’s vibrant Mexican heritage + community, Día de los Muertos celebrations are already gearing up around San Jose.
To prepare — let’s explore the roots of this holiday and some of San Jose’s upcoming celebrations.
💀 The history
Día de los Muertos, aka Day of the Dead, is a holiday traditionally celebrated November 1-2. It’s believed that its roots go back 3,000 years —through Mexico’s Aztec and pre-Aztec indigenous peoples — and it is celebrated in communities with Mexican heritage to this day.
An important distinction: this is not a “Mexican version of Halloween.” In this “celebration of life,” participants are reunited with the souls of dead relatives + loved ones. The honored dead are often given offerings at gravesites or ofrendas (alters) at home, and are celebrated with festivals.
💀 Local celebrations
This Sat., Oct. 15, San Jose will celebrate the largest Día de los Muertos festival in the South Bay, Día San José, at Cesar Chavez Park. The event includes live music, face painting, lowrider ofrendas, and indigenous craft vendors — but it’s not the only way to join in the holiday.
Don’t miss out on these other events:
- 16th Annual Art of Remembrance Alter Exhibit | Now-Fri., Nov. 4 | MLK Library
- Macario | Now-Sun., Oct. 23 | Teatro Visión, Mexican Heritage Plaza
- SJMAG’s 25th Annual Día de los Muertos Virtual Celebration | Sun., Oct. 23, 12 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Community Day: Día de los Muertos | Sat., Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | San José Museum of Art
- Dia de los Muertos | Tues., Nov. 1, 6-9 p.m. | Eastridge Mall
- Calpulli Tonalehqueh’s 19th Annual Día de los Muertos Ceremony | Wed., Nov. 2, 5-9 p.m. | The School of Arts and Culture, Mexican Heritage Plaza
- Día de los Muertos | Sat., Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1:30-4:30 p.m. | Children’s Discovery Museum