Society & Culture

Take Part in San Diego’s Día de Los Muertos Celebrations

If you live in California or have a lot of Latino friends, then you are probably already aware of what the San Diego Día de Los Muertos is. The Día de Los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, is one of the most important holidays in San Diego. The holiday is a continuation of an age-old tradition by many in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

The purpose of the tradition is to celebrate the unity between life and death. Families come together to pay respect to the departed souls of their loved ones. The Aztec tradition has found its followers in South American communities around the world. It is believed that the souls of the deceased come to visit their living families in homes, businesses, and cemeteries.

The festival has evolved over the years and has become an event that millions across the globe wait for impatiently. The festival gives them a chance to honor their dead and celebrate their legacy.

Día de Los Muertos History

Specifically, the Día de Los Muertos is reserved for November 2nd when deceased adults are commemorated. November 1st is reserved for the Día de Los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) in memory of the infants and children who have passed away.

Although the celebration differs from region to region, the celebration involves the creation of an altar. The altar is then filled with stylized skeletons, food, and other offerings. The altars are created as a mark of respect for deceased loved ones, and to aid them in their afterlife.

In San Diego, the celebration holds both a political and religious connotation as special respects are offered to the brave American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. An altar signifies the sacrifices they made, while the presence of the Latino community highlights the sacrifices their soldiers have made for the cause of the country.

Themes of the Festival

The festival focuses on three major themes: Remembrance, Community, and Celebration. You can visit the over 40 altars of remembrance that are presented in both traditional and contemporary ways. A public altar is set up to encourage the wider audience to participate in the event by sharing their own mementos and photos.


Although the main event is supposed to last for two days, the celebration begins way before. The La Vista Memorial Park and Mortuary Día De Los Muertos kick off a string of events with some folk dancing, food, and entertainment.

Following this event are a string of festivals that celebrate Mexican culture, the people of San Diego, and the deceased that left us during the year.

Although all the events are worth visiting, there are some events that you need to attend specifically. If you are interested in art and want to know more about traditional Mexican art, then the Encinitas Día De Los Muertos Celebration is the one to attend. The festival celebrates the dead with live performances, art-making workshops, a student art exhibit, artist demos, food trucks, and more.

The festival will be held on October 26th, 2019, and will mark a week since the beginning of the celebrations. If you are fascinated by altars, then the 24th Annual Día de Los Muertos is the event that you should visit.

The event will expose you to some of the most resounding artwork you are ever going to see. Guests are invited from around the world, and what they present is the most resounding mixture of emotions and culture. The altars signify the sacrifices the deceased made for the community, and is a replica of the resolve the community has to never forget them.

The main event is held at Old Town San Diego’s de Los Muertos on November 2 and 3. The preceding events are a prelude to the main event, which celebrates the history, culture, and heritage of the region.

In total, there are 12 events that you can be a part of. The festivals are an ode to the Mexican culture, values, and lifestyle. If you happen to be in San Diego during this period, then you must visit.

While you’re in town for the festival, also make sure to catch a boat ride in San Diego to truly enjoy everything the city has to offer.

If you have any questions, please ask below!