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‘Day of the Dead’ 9th annual celebration returns to Spokane

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Nuestras Raíces Centro Comunitario (NRCC) and the Hispanic Business/Professional Association (HBPA) is hosting the 9th annual ‘Dia de los Muertos’(Day of the Dead) cultural event

Spokane, WA – October 16, 2023 – The 9th Annual ‘Día de los Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) free family cultural event celebration will take place for three days, from Friday, Nov. 3 to Sunday, Nov. 5, this year at Nuestras Raíces Centro Comunitario, located at 1214 E Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99202.

Día de los Muertos is a celebration in which the living symbolically honor and remember their departed family members, loved ones, pets, or icons with various acts, rituals, traditions, and ofrendas (offerings).

The holiday has its roots in Indigenous Mexican groups dating centuries back, starting with the Olmec culture, and being influenced by the Aztec or Mexica cultures, and then by the Spanish. Though it originated in Mexico, the holiday is now commonly celebrated worldwide, especially among the Hispanic-Latino communities residing abroad in the U.S.

The holiday is sacred and one of its kind because it is a family reunion that reunites the living and the dead. Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drinks, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life.

“The beliefs and rituals practiced by our ancestors centuries back had been passed through generations - beliefs that make us celebrate life and death and welcome it every holiday,” Brianda L. Perez, NRCC Community Outreach Coordinator, said. " It's also a way to maintain our cultural identity and heritage."

This is the first time the event will be celebrated at NRCC's new building in Spokane. In the past eight years, it was celebrated at Dignity Memorial Funeral Home in Spokane Valley.

Scott Dahl, Dignity Memorial Funeral Home general manager, said the event has grown

over the past eight years, becoming a wonderful Spokane area family tradition.

“Dignity Memorial has been honored over the past nine years to partner with Spokane’s Hispanic Business/Professional Association (HBPA) in bringing this beautiful event to our community,” Dahl said. “We hope to continue the tradition for many years.”

The 9th annual Dia de los Muertos event is free and open to the public. This year’s celebration will start on Friday, November 3, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the display of six colorful ofrendas (offerings) decorated with traditional marigold flowers, incense, pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), sugar skulls, photos, and all the elements that complement the ofrenda. People could also bring pictures of their loved ones or their dead pets.

On Saturday, November 4th, the main celebrations will be taking place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. During this day, a lineup of activities and live performances will be taking place, including kids' crafts and piñatas, pan de Muerto, ofrendas, face painting, crafts and food vendors, and Day of the Day Ritual. Mariachi Las Aguilas and Ballet Folklorico de Spokane will also be performing.

On the event's last day, Sunday, November 5, at 11 a.m., people are invited to El Recalentado/Potluck. People could bring something to share and come to see the ofrendas’ exhibition on the last day.

The event is sponsored by Innovia Foundation, No-Li Brewhouse, Spokane Public Library, Numerica Credit Union, Washington State Department of Health, Launch NW, Hispanic Business/Professional Association (HBPA), La Michoacana Restaurant, and Sergio’s Imports.

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