Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Día de los muertos Family Celebration

November 4th, 2009

Día de los muertos in New Orleans
Sunday, November 1, 2009

A vibrant crowd assembled at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint to celebrate Día de los muertos or “Day of the Dead.” This day is celebrated in Mexico on the second day of November to celebrate the return of deceased family members. The Old U.S. Mint opened its doors this year for the first time since Hurricane Katrina to the spirits of Day of the Dead on October 27, 2009. This year’s activities took place along the edge of the French Market at 400 Esplanade Avenue. The activities consisted of an exhibit, open to the public and to K-12 classrooms starting October 27th through November 30, 2009 and concluded with a public festival. The exhibit consists of a traditional Día de los muertos altar created by local artist Cynthia Ramirez and a Photography exhibit curated by the Mexican Consulate of New Orleans, “UNESCO’s Heritage Cities.”

Over 300 people came out to celebrate in the U.S. Mint’s courtyard this past Sunday, November 1st. The Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Louisiana State Museum, and the Mexican Consulate of New Orleans sponsored this year’s activities and attracted a large crowd of families and spirits as many dressed as skeletons and other spirits. The celebration began at 2:30 in the afternoon with traditional folkloric dances from Mexico. The vibrant dresses and choreography was a beautiful addition this year. The city’s only known mariachi band, Mariachi Agave came and played traditional Mexican ballads such as, “Guadalajara.” The mariachi band continued to play while the crowd danced and accompanied the band in singing. By the end of their performance the crowd was shouting “¡más, más!”

This year’s crowd enjoyed food and drinks from Taquería Sanchez and El Gato Negro. Children were able to create crafts from Day of the Dead images and teachers were able to collect teaching materials to teach about Day of the Dead in the classroom.

Mexico + People
Eugene Cizek
Professor Emeritus - Architecture