On Saturday, Oct. 24, Hollywood Forever Cemetery will give residents of Southern California the opportunity to commemorate the Day of the Dead ─ an ancient Aztec tradition alternately referred as “All Souls Day” ─ during a one-day festival at the Santa Monica location. el Jimador, the No. 1 selling tequila in Mexico, is sponsoring the event, which will include the world premiere of the documentary La Fiesta Eterna, an altar competition, and music by Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lila Downs.
Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, represents a fusion of Christian devotion and Pre-Hispanic customs and values that allows the living to meet face to face with the souls of our ancestors. The result is a celebration known for its festive altars, poems, and specialty food and drink offerings dedicated to the dearly departed.
“We are excited to commemorate another year of this special ceremony in which ancient traditions come alive in today’s modern world. During the last 10 years, the Día de los Muertos festival has provided a dramatic venue to showcase a variety of Mexican folk music and art,” said Deisy Marquez from Hollywood Forever Cemetery. “In 2008, approximately 20,000 people joined us during the festivities and we expect to welcome even more this year, further entrenching us as the nation’s largest and most authentic Day of the Dead celebration.”
Highlights of the event include the premiere of La Fiesta Eterna, a documentary by filmmaker Christopher Cabrales, which narrates the tradition of the Dia de los Muertos in Mexico; a traditional Oaxacan burial; and live musical entertainment by Lila Downs, La Santa Cecilia and Las Cafeteras. Additionally, more than 150 altars will be exhibited by their creators for a chance to win cash prizes up to $3,000.
“The Day of the Dead is one of the most authentic and unique Mexican holidays, as it provides the perfect occasion to honor those who have come before us. As a brand with deep roots in the tequila industry and respect for our Mexican heritage, el Jimador looks upon this partnership with the Hollywood Forever Cemetery as an ideal opportunity to celebrate our passion for tradition with our adult consumers in the U.S.,” said Jesus Ostos, marketing manager for Casa Herradura Tequilas.
Tickets to the event may be purchased at the door for $10 each. Gates will be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., with Lila Downs’ performance scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. For more information on Hollywood Forever’s 10th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration, please visit www.LADayoftheDead.com or call (323) 447-0999.