October 25, 2002

5th Annual “Día de los Muertos” Celebration Brings Mexican Folk Tradition to San Diego’s Bazaar del Mundo, Oct. 26 – Nov. 2

Special Frida Kahlo Activities Presented

Old Town San Diego’s Bazaar del Mundo will add a twist of international culture to the Halloween season when it presents the authentic trappings of an ancient Mexican folk holiday during its 5th annual Días de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) celebration, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 through Saturday, Nov. 2.

Sugar skulls, candles, marigolds, decorated altars, traditional gifts, and a special tribute to artist Frida Kahlo, will be featured and explained in interpretive displays throughout the Bazaar del Mundo’s restaurants and stores, detailing the significance of the observance.

The Artes de Mexico shop in the Bazaar will display hand-made paper cutouts, wood, terra cotta and papier-mâché pieces that have been traditionally used in Mexican celebrations. Sugar skull artists from Que Milagro will be demonstrating the art of creating elaborate sugar skulls on October 26 and 27 and November 1 and 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in front of Artes de Mexico.

Ode to Frida Kahlo

In conjunction with the opening of the Miramax feature film “Frida Kahlo” in local theaters, the Bazaar will prepare a special altar celebrating the artist’s life, along with Frida Kahlo themed jewelry, tin boxes, clay sculptures, t-shirts, and bamboo curtains. The Libros shop will feature a collection of Frida Kahlo books. The first 75 people to visit Artes de Mexico on Sunday, October 27, will receive free tickets to a special pre-release movie screening of “Frida Kahlo.”

Free Kids’ Art Activities

Also on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bazaar del Mundo Courtyard, kids can decorate sugar skulls in celebration of the Días de Los Muertos holiday. The event is free, but parents should call the Artes de Mexico shop at (619) 296-3266 to register children.

At the same time and inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo, the San Diego Children’s “Museum Without Walls” will present the art of self-portraits. Kids of all ages are invited to participate in this “learning through the arts” activity. Children’s museum artists will be at hand to lead youngsters in the making of their own self-portrait in the style of Frida Kahlo.

Despite its name, Días de los Muertos is considered a time of celebration and remembrance of family and friends, much like the United States’ Memorial Day.

The festival has ancient roots in Mexico, especially in the Oaxaca area, and South America. Early cultures developed elaborate rituals and philosophies concerning the life-death cycle, viewing life as we know it as a dream of hardships and obstacles. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death would they reach the higher plans and become truly awake.

Today, the holiday is celebrated in Mexican cultures each year on Nov. 1 and 2, when it is believed the dead visit the living. Special foods are prepared, flowers decorate doorways and arches, and offerings of food and drink are laid out for the spirits.

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