El Dia De Los Muertos Festival Planned for East Boston This Week

Veronica Robles Cultural Center (VROCC), El Dia de los Muertos is New England’s largest Day of the Dead Festival and Parade. Now in its ninth year, this annual, intergenerational arts and culture festival supports community cohesion and local businesses in the Central Square and Liberty Square districts of East Boston. This year the event will include a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic and Hepatitis testing onsite. A range of programming takes place from October 25-November 2.

This event is part of the Youth Entrepreneurship program “Dancing Elotes” that integrates arts and culture with business education and practical entrepreneurial experience, as youth learn the skills needed to run a business and produce events like El Dia de los Muertos. Altar installation and activities, workshops, and conversations are facilitated by local artists.

The origins of the Day of the Dead tradition predate the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. In different cultures, particularly among the Mexica, it was believed that there was a process to be born and another to die: when the soul leaves the physical body, it must go through a series of tests or dimensions, to reach the desired rest. La Catrina or La Calavera Catrina is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Dia de los Muertos holiday today, and was created by artist and journalist Jose Guadalupe Posada in 1910.

Participants for the event will include Hot tamale Brass Band, Groversity Afro Brazilian Band, Grupo de danza Torogoz, Estrellitas Tropicales, Corazon Chileno, Fraternidad Folklorica y Cultural Caporales Universitarios de San Simón Cochabamba – Filial New England; Estrellitas VROCC, lead by Diana Melgar and Melisa Lopez, Ballet Folklorico VROCC led by Dance program director Estuardo Alvizurez and Donaxi Madrigal; VROCC music and chorus ensembles led by instructors Carlos Mario Yepes and Monica Henao assisted by Marcelo Yepes; Calpulli Coyoxochilt, Danza Mexica; Alejandra Ramos Gómez, Mexican poet; Fiona Phie, artist; Flor Delgadillo, multidisciplinary artists; Ethan Vogt multimedia producer; Roberto Gomez, community activist; Nicolas Acuña, Jucamart.

MAPS (MASS alliance of portuguese speakers) providing Hepatitis testing, and Boston Medical Center will be providing COVID19 Vaccine shots in collaboration with Lawyers for Civil rights and Greater Boston Latino Network.

The following events are scheduled:

Tuesday, October 25th from 7:30 to 9:00 PM

Lecture: Origins and Meanings of Dia De Los Muertos by Dr. Raquel Urroz.

VROCC, 282 Meridian St. Use the AlleyWay Door between Meridian and Border St.

Presented in collaboration with Universidad Autonoma de Mexico in  Boston.

Learn the origins and meaning of this beautiful Mexican tradition. Pan de Muerto (Traditional bread made for the occasion) and hot chocolate will be served.

Friday, October 28th from 6 to 9PM

Help create the Ofrenda (Altar) for the Festival

Where: Central Square Park – Saratoga St. between Border and Meridian.

Support local artists in creating an Ofrenda that will include photos of community members’ loved ones who have passed away to honor and remember them including pets.

Sunday, October 30th 1:00 to 2:30

Join the Parade!

Starts at Central Square Park, and ends at Shaws (circled on the map)

Parade rules: Only people in Catrina or Catrine Costumes will be allowed, Cars must be decorated with El Dia de los Muertos theme and must be registered prior to the event. Cars must register by Thursday, October 27 by midnight.

There will be two parade floats with music and music bands along the parade.

Sunday, October 30th from 1:00 to 7:00 PM

Dia De Los Muertos Festival

Central Sq. Park Between Meridian St. and Border St

Local artists, entrepreneurs, children’s music and dance performances. Activities will include creating elements for the altar and Catrina dresses.

Tuesday, November 1st. from 6 to 8 PM

Community Gathering

VROCC 282 Meridian St. Use the AlleyWay Door between Meridian and Border St. Conversations on how we as a community can support each other in the process of healing to overcome grief, loss, and resiliency.

Wednesday, November 2nd from 6 to 8 PM

Community Gathering

Altar on Central Square Park if weather permits. Rain site VROCC

Dia de los muertos observance will include community conversations around loss, mourning and resiliency focused on adults, and death in tragic circumstances (breaking down the altar).  Building Community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *