Organizers estimate 20,000 visitors made it to the 13th annual “Dia de Los Muertos” event held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday.
November 2nd is the “Dia de los Muertos”, or “Day of the Dead” in calendars across Mexico. The traditional holiday reunites and honors beloved ancestors, family and friends.
In Hollywood the event came a bit earlier this year, but many Mexican Americans will continue to celebrate throughout the week.
The Boyle Heights art center Self Help Graphics & Art will host another major celebration on Nov. 2. The event in the city’s predominantly Mexican American neighborhood is one of the longest-running Day of the Dead celebrations in the nation.
Take a look at the video above with two participants that constructed altars at Saturday’s event. They explain what the celebration means to them.
The altar above was created by artist Graciela Rodriguez and the parents of Julia Lujan.
Eight-year-old Julia passed away on election night in 2008—November 4, 2008.
“To me, it [Dia de los Muertos] means celebrating that death is not a curse,” Julia’s father Jim told Colorlines.com on Saturday. “It’s not something that is a punishment or a curse to be feared completely, death is actually a part of life and if you take away the fear and stigma then it actually adds to life, it’s a whole big circle.”
Crowd gathers in front of the altar made in honor of Julia Lujan. (Jorge Rivas)
“Day of the dead is the day when the living and non-living souls in my family unite, communicate and celebrate,” Johana told Colorlines. The altar she created alongside her family is in honor of her grandmother, the Mayans and Aztecs. (Photo: CC/John Strathdee)
Altar built in memory of musician Jose “Crunchy” Espinosa, one of the founding members of Ozomatli.
“Day of the Dead is a coming together of families again,” Espinosa’s brother Alfonso told Colorlines. (Photo: Jorge Rivas)
An alter at the 13th Annual Dia De Los Muertos Festival at Hollywood Forever on October 27, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Jorge Rivas)
A general view of atmosphere at the 13th Annual Dia De Los Muertos Festival at Hollywood Forever on October 27, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
An alter at the 13th Annual Dia De Los Muertos Festival at Hollywood Forever on October 27, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Jorge Rivas)f