The Farmers Branch Historical Park is hosting Dia de los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead Celebration on Thursday, October 29 at the Dodson House. Experience this honored tradition from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  New for 2020 is a live Mariachi performance by Mariachi Los Reyes De Dallas sponsored by Cuquita’s Restaurant. 

Mariachi Los Reves de Dallas in Farmers Branch for Day of the Dead

Festivities include tapas, and dessert, elotes, a signature cocktail, aguas frescas, cinnamon hot chocolate, traditional décor, music, education about the holiday and honoring the deceased. The festivities also include a stroll throughout Farmers Branch Historical Park with altars in several of the historic structures as you “encounter” spirits from the past.

This is recommended for ages 4 and up and pre-registration is required. All attendees must wear masks.  The cost is $30 per person and reservations for the Day of the Dead Celebration may be submitted online.

“Americans tend to lump together Halloween and the Day of the Dead,” says Bonnie Neumann, historical cultural specialist for Farmers Branch. “But that’s not really the case. The two holidays are different and separate.”

Dia de los Muertos is not a spooky or somber event! This is a festive occasion honoring the lives and memories of family and friends who have passed away. The living honor the dead during this celebration by building altars, or ofrendas, in memory of the departed. These altars are decorated with orange Mexican marigolds, photographs, favorite foods, drinks and items, such as lace, clothing or jewelry, of the dead.

Ofrendas Texas Monthly Day of the Dead alter
How to Build an Alter for Day of the Dead – photo credit Texas Monthly

The timing of the holiday occurs at the same time as the migration of the monarch butterflies to Mexico. Some believe that the butterflies are the returning spirits of the departed.

The historical roots of the Day of the Dead, which is observed over three days, can be traced to ancient indigenous peoples of southern Mexico. After the Spanish and Catholicism arrived, the tradition evolved to coincide with the Christian observance of Allhallowtide: All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on October 31, November 1 and November 2. In the 1960’s, Mexico made November 2 a national holiday in observance of the Day of the Dead, known there as Día de los Muertos. It was then that the custom spread throughout Mexico.

Farmers Branch Historical Park Day of the Dead Celebration

Friends of the Farmers Branch Historical Park members, Farmers Branch Historical Park Board, City Council, and employees of the City of Farmers Branch receive a $5 discount. For special pricing, please call the Historical Park at 972-406-0184 and for more information view the Fall event details for the Farmers Branch Historical Park.

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