Dia de los Muertos in Oceanside

Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is an all-day Oceanside community event. The 12th annual Dia de los Muertos is a special event with diverse cultural traditions, remembering and honoring deceased loved ones. Over twenty-five-thousand attendees will enjoy the largest festival of its kind in San Diego County.

The Mission will come alive at this free family-friendly event with entertainment, carnival rides, altar displays and a classic car show! Your children will be entertained all day with a variety of craft activities and exciting carnival rides. You won’t want to miss out on over 90 diverse vendors, traditional food, chalk cemetery, and the classic car show showcasing trunk altars put on by the Por Siempre Car Club.

The Mexican Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos — is a festive and celebrative time. It is a holiday with a complex history and fusion of old traditions. This view of death started with Meso-American cultures such as the Olmecs more than 3,000 years ago. Meso-Americans believed that during this time of the year, the boundaries that separate the living and the dead weaken and that the deceased could visit the living. Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life, as a blend together cycle. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.

The holiday is traditionally celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. Because it is a holiday with a complex history, its observance varies from region to region and also by degree of urbanization. In the small towns of Mexico a candlelight procession to the cemetery is held by most of the families on the eve of the celebration. At the gravesites family members spruce up the gravesite, decorate it with flowers and enjoy a meal. Offerings are brought to the graves and include the favorite foods, beverages, toys, and personal belongings of the departed so that they might enjoy them again. Family members spend the night at the cemetery and share the memory of their loved ones by telling stories about them. The celebration is not a mournful one, but rather a time to share with family and friends and to visit with the souls of the departed. The warm communal environment, the colorful setting, and the abundance of food, drink and the presence of friends and family members has pleasant overtones for most observ¬ers. This festive interaction between the living and the dead is a way of celebrating that life was and still is shared with the departed and is also recognition of the cycle of life and death. This cycle is the cycle of all forms of existence.

Many immigrants, especially the Oaxacan community, have brought these traditions with them. They are now sharing them with everyone by participating in Día de los Muertos Festivals in the United States.

Sunday, October 26, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free; parking is $5 per car. Free shuttle buses available.

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