Our city may be 300 years old – but we’re always open to new ideas. Especially if it involves festivities! Just this past week, San Antonio announced a new festival – Day of the Dead San Antonio – set for Nov. 1-3, with the majority of events taking place at La Villita.
Celebrated in November, Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos – has been a cultural fixture for generations in San Antonio. The celebration, itself, dates back several thousand years ago with the Aztec, Toltec and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful. For these pre-Hispanic cultures, death was a natural phase in life’s continuum, and the dead were kept alive in memory and spirit.
Here in San Antonio, numerous Día de los Muertos events take place throughout the city. Why another one? Well…why not? Organizers hope to make San Antonio as synonymous with Day of the Dead as New Orleans is with Mardi Gras. As San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at the press conference introducing this new event: “The city of San Antonio is a city of faith, we’re a city of culture, we’re a city of tradition and Lord knows, we’re a city of parties.”
With financial help from Visit San Antonio and sponsorships from H-E-B, Frost Bank and others, Day of the Dead San Antonio will feature art exhibits, bands, a “Celebrating Life” 5K run-walk through Mission Burial Park on the South Side, Catrineras on the River parade and 34 performances, among other events. There’s already a fabulous 8-foot-tall “catrina” depicting Selena, unveiled by Mayor Nirenberg and the staff of Menchaca Studios. Decorated with more than two million beads, the catrina was handcrafted by more than 40 indigenous Huichol artisans in Mexico and took two months to produce. We’ll find her on the corner of Market and South Alamo streets during the event – and then she’ll be placed in a permanent spot as public art.
For more on how the festival is coming together and the events ahead, check out this excellent Rivard Report story.
In honor of San Antonio’s 300th anniversary, I’m ranking Day of the Dead San Antonio No. 44 in my 300 Reasons to Love San Antonio list. Can’t wait to join in the celebration!
Another great reason to live, work and buy a home in San Antonio.