SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – All across America, kids are finding that perfect Halloween costume and getting ready for October 31st. Sunday, the Sioux City Public Museum was honoring a different holiday.
“Dia De Los Muertos,” or Day of the Dead, is a celebration that takes place every year mainly in Mexico. It’s a celebration that some say started all the way back from the Aztecs about 3,000 years ago.
Music and dancing, bright vibrant colors, skeletons, and food are heavily associated with Dia De Los Muertos, but for many in Siouxland, it means much more.
“We like to celebrate it because a lot of our girls are born here or their parents are born here, and the tradition is kinda lost. It’s a good way to keep that tradition going for those girls,” said Maria Guzman, a dance teacher for La Perla Tapatia.
“They celebrate, they put up pictures on every table, celebrate the dead people that passed away and they always loved,” said Monica Mazariegos, one of the dancers.
In Mexican culture, it’s important to celebrate the loved ones who have passed away. Dia De Los Muertos is a time where many families create altars in honor of those lost family members to guide their spirits along.
“It’s been kinda nice to start remembering my grandparents who passed away. I’ve actually learned a lot about them that I didn’t know just setting up my altars, and asking my parents what they did,” said Guzman.
Museum organizers said they want to help many learn about Hispanic traditions.
“Americans have certainly come to gravitate to Dia De Los Muertos. I think the colors and the imagery and the message of connecting to loved ones who have passed on is something we can all really associate with,” said Theresa Weaver-Basye, the curator of education at the Sioux City Public Museum.
“Once I moved here to the United States, that tradition was lost, and once I started helping out with the dance group, I started doing it again,” said Guzman.
More than a hundred people came to Sunday’s event, and got to enjoy the beautiful altars, dancing, face painting, and many other activities.
Dia De Los Muertos officially begins next Thursday, and ends on Saturday, November 2nd.