There were nine evenings of celebration, at the Placita in Olvera Street, just across from Union Station. But on Saturday, the merchants of Olvera Street added daytime events! Taking the Goldline from the east end of LA County, we disembarked to streams of runners wearing numbers, carrying swag and prizes from Los Muertos 5K, and heading home on the trains.
Then, across Alameda Street, we heard drumming and a flute as the celebration began…it looked and felt like a community event, with troups of chldren, skeletal costumes and even a community ofrenda, where we were given the opportunity to post a picture of a departed loved one. The flautist is John Mosquera, an Equadorian musician who accompanied the dancers, then treated us to a few covers and original pieces.
The costumes gaily represented influences from Mexico: the girls were dressed in white, as is common in the south and the boys in cowboy hats reflected a custom followed in the north.
The music was live and the dancers dressed in full Aztec regalia.
The Merchants of Olvera Street have been celebrating Dia de los Muertos for more than 80 years, but over the past 35 years, it has evolved into a multicultural celebration of pre-Columbian, Mayan, Aztec and even Catholic rituals.
It is a celebration with the inclusion of ofrenda, that is altars that celebrate and honor the dearly departed. Including pets.
We will be back next year!