Day 57: Día de los Muertos (DTLA)

Can you believe October is almost over? This year has gone by so fast, it feels like it was just the Fourth of July! Well, the end of this month kicks off the fall/winter holiday season, and while most Angelenos are making last-minute trips to the costume store (or placing frantic Amazon Prime Now orders) today, many are observing a different holiday – ¡Día de los Muertos!

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Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday with deep Aztec roots that is observed as a national holiday in Mexico on November 1-2. Observers celebrate the memories of their loved ones by visiting cemeteries and building altars with candles, marigolds, photos and memorabilia next to their graves. While the customs vary, some traditions include painting ones face to resemble a skull, enjoying the favorite foods of the deceased, bringing age-appropriate gifts like toys or alcohol for those who have passed on, and eating sweets like pan de muerto or sugar skulls inscribed with the names of the deceased. They may also share funny or memorable moments of those they are celebrating.

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Sugar skulls

Downtown festivities include Olvera Street (part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument), which plays host each year to the nightly Novenario processions, community altars, and other related festivities from October 25th-November 3rd, and the community altars and sculptures from 30 local artists over at Grand Park. So, if you won’t be spending tomorrow DIY-ing costumes, carving pumpkins or roasting up some pumpkin seeds, check out this LA Times Día de los Muertos round-up for more info about where else you can experience this incredible holiday in LA!

What: Día de los Muertos

Where: DTLA on Olvera Street and Grand Park

When: Now, through Monday 11/2

Cost: Free!

How to get there/parking: Olvera Street and Grand Park are accessible by MetroLink, or you can pay $10 to park at Lot 10 for Grand Park or $5-15 to park in one of the lots near Olvera St (see maps below)

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