Downtown Chula Vista’s Dia de los Muertos Celebration

There will be live music, dance performances, kids' crafts, food vendors, an Altar Contest, a Catrín and Catrína Ensemble Contest, treats, and more!

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Save the date, October 28, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m./ Photo: Downtown Chula Vista Facebook

On Saturday, October 28, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Downtown Chula Vista will celebrate its 3rd Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration.

The celebration includes a community altar, an Altar Contest, and a Catrín and Catrína Ensemble Contest for cash prizes. Also, there will be live music and dance performances, kids’ crafts, treats, food, vendors, themed photo spots, and a special screening of Guillermo del Toro’s “Book of Life” at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Bowl.

The contests’ cash prizes vary since they will be divided into three categories (Best Altar Created by School/Student, Best Altar Created by General Public, and Best Overall Altar); the Altar Contest Created by School/Students and General Public Altar will have a grand prize of $500 while the Best Overall Altar will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

The Catrín/Catrína Contest will be divided into four categories (Best Youth, Best Catrín, Best Catrína, Best Couple), and prizes will range from $100 to $500! If you want more information or wish to sign up for any contests, click here.

The music line-up will include Sunshine Folklorico, Mariachi Divinas, Karlos Páez of B-side Players, Kimba Light, and DJ A-Boogie.

Dia de los Muertos, as we know it today, is a fusion of history. In an article from the University of Arizona, they synthesize the origins of this celebration.

“It emerged from an Aztec ritual known as Miccaihuitl, and Miccaihuitl was an honoring of the dead, but it was also the time for harvesting. It was this moment for recognizing a seasonal change from light to dark as we transition into the fall,” the author said. “Then you have the Spanish arrival to the Americas, bringing with them Christianity and Catholicism. So, Día de los Muertos today is the bringing together of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day with this traditional honoring of our ancestors.”

Día de los Muertos is a two-day event observed on Nov. 1 and 2. It is a time for people to remember and mourn the loss of their loved ones and ensure that they are never forgotten. It is a common practice to place some of the deceased’s favorite foods, flowers, and a photo of them on their altar or grave. Marigolds (cempasúchil in Spanish) are often used as the flower of choice.

This community event is a celebration of life and an opportunity for the community to come together to honor those who have passed, with fun activities for the whole family.