Day of the Dead Fest on Saturday offers opportunity for joyful remembrance

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Day of the Dead Fest on Saturday offers opportunity for joyful remembrance

October 14, 2021 - 22:39
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Xicantl poses at Fall Fest on Sept. 25 with a giant skeleton she created. She and her skeleton friend toured the festival promoting Homewood's first Day of the Dead festival on Oct. 16. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)


The village of Homewood will host its first Day of the Dead Fest (Dia de los Muertos) on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 5 to 9 p.m. on Martin Avenue Square to share the rich cultural traditions of the celebration.

Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday that celebrates death as a natural part of the human experience. While it sounds like a very somber day, it's also a time of celebration, with many bright and colorful traditions to honor friends and family who have passed on.

This all stems from the ancient indigenous peoples of Mexico (Purepecha, Nahua, Totonac and Otomí) who believed that the souls of the dead return each year to visit with their living relatives - to eat, drink and be merry. Just like they did when they were living.

One of the most significant traditions during the Day of the Dead is the creation of an altar to honor the souls of the dead. The Village of Homewood has partnered with local resident, Gloria Contreras of Xicantl Productions, who has handmade a community-inclusive ofrenda - an altar for everyone from the community to put up pictures of their loved ones who have passed on.

There will be a contest for the best Catrinas and Catrin (historic skeletal characters) and Day of the Dead costumes are encouraged!

Papel picado (colorful flags) and Arbol de la vida (Tree of Life) will also be on display during the celebration.

Guests will enjoy a performance by Chinelos dancers, Comparsa Santa Cruz Chicago.

The event will include traditional music, food and drink. The evening will conclude with a showing of the movie "Coco" beginning at dusk. This event is free and open to the public. More information is at www.homesweethomewood.com.