Día de los Muertos Procession
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, has been observed across Latin America for centuries as a day to honor and celebrate the lives of people who we have lost. Like most holidays, specific customs vary across regions of Mexico and Latin America and there’s no one tradition that is celebrated everywhere, but those from around the world can relate to the universal experience of loss, and longing to remember the lives of the deceased.
This year, especially, it is hard to imagine our world without loss. And for those who have celebrated Día de los Muertos by sitting closely together with family and friends, sharing food and building altars together, it’s hard to imagine celebrating without our normal social habits.
Considering our evolving world, La Calaca Flaca has come together to reimagine and affirm this tradition as an important event each year, to remember those who we have lost to the pandemic as well as other more typical life events. It is the hope of the group that this year will look different, but that people will feel just a little bit more in community, and a little more connected while we create a space for remembrance.
José Ortiz-Pagán, the invited guest artist this year, and the members of La Calaca Flaca will honor the deceased with a solemn procession to four community altars in four cardinal points of the city: east, west, south, and north. The intention is to unite us ceremoniously to the suffering of the communities and to guide those that left for Mictlampa, a place of eternal solace and rest.
Although the Día de los Muertos at Fleisher Art Memorial this year won’t have the same celebratory tone of the past seven years, our wish is for everyone to feel more connected in our community through new ways of remembrance.
– La Calaca Flaca Committee
Sunday, November 1, 2020 (rain date November 8)
Community altar locations:
East – Jefferson Square in partnership with Juntos
South – Southwark School
West – Brandywine Workshop and Archives
North – César Andreu Iglesias Community Garden (pre-recorded)
This year, in partnership with PhillyCAM, the procession will be broadcast through Facebook Live. It is difficult to envision the procession and altar celebrations without the large crowds it draws every year, we ask participants to observe restrictions on large gatherings due to COVID-19 and to celebrate with us virtually, instead.
The Día de los Muertos celebration is generously supported by PECO and National Endowment for the Arts.