by Photo courtesy of Downtown Chula Vista

Downtown Chula Vista will put on its second annual Día De Los Muertos, the Mexican holiday where families acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between life and death. 

The free community event will take place on Oct. 29 from 3 P.M. to 8 P.M. in Downtown Chula Vista, where community members may expect to see a community altar, music and dance performances from three different locations, kids crafts, treats, delicious food, vendors, themed, and photo-ops throughout the neighborhood. 

Community members may also participate in an Altar Contest and Catrín/Catrína Ensamble contest for cash prizes. According to the Downtown Chula Vista Association, participants of the Altar Contes will include three different categories with a cash prize of $500 each for school/students, the general public, and a $1,000 cash prize for the best overall. Click here to apply and to find more information about the Altar Contest. 

The Catrín/Catrína Ensamble Contest encourages guests to dress up in traditional Catrín attire or put their own twist to the traditional look for a chance to win from $150 to $500. The categories for the contest include Best Chico (12 and under), Best Catrín (Male), Best Catrína (Female), and Best Couple (Pair). Click here to apply and find more information about the Catrín/Catrína Contest. 

A special screening of  Disney Pixar’s COCO in the Memorial Bow will be shown starting at 7 P.M. According to the Downtown Village Association, attendees are welcome to bring their own blankets, chairs, food, and drinks, or purchase from the local vendors at the event to enjoy while watching the film.

Día de Los Muertos is traditionally celebrated on Nov. 2, when it is believed the spirits of the dead return home and spend time with their relatives on these two days. The holiday originated in Aztec culture before Spanish colonizers and the Roman Catholic Church arrived. 

Families build altars for their deceased relatives to celebrate and welcome and honor their return. Sugar Skulls, marigolds, perforated paper, Pan de Muerto, food and water, photographs, and personal objects are often placed on altars.

Mexico is not the only country that celebrates Dia de Los Muertos. Latin American countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela all have their own traditions for welcoming and honoring their passed loved ones. 

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