Visalia Latino Rotary hosts 3rd annual Day of the Dead-themed fundraiser

Although the Mexican tradition may seem macabre, Day of the Dead celebrates the joys of life

By Stephanie Barraza
Special to the Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – While the American tradition of Halloween may consist of bobbing for apples and making jack-o-lanterns, the Day of the Dead is not considered the Mexican version of Halloween.

Día de los Muertos, as it is known in Spanish, is a traditional holiday that takes place primarily in Mexico, which celebrates the lives of past loved ones. Over the course of two days, Nov. 1 and 2, altars are made with pictures of the deceased along with vibrant decorations filled with food offerings, sugar skulls, candles, and flowers, which are traditionally marigolds.

“La Calavera Catrina,” or the Elegant Skeleton, has become to be known as the image of death in Mexico, depicting a person, usually a female, dressed in an elegant outfit with skeleton makeup. While the theme of the holiday may seem macabre to some, it is a lively tradition that celebrates and honors the lives of friends and family members who have died and to support their spiritual journey.

This year, the Visalia Latino Rotary will host its third annual “Catrina Masquerade Ball” taking place at the Visalia Convention Center on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. The event will consist of live music including a mariachi and local Latin-rock band August, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, decorated altars, and a costume contest for best-dressed “calavera” or skeleton.

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser will go towards annual holiday baskets and scholarships. General admission is $30, $50 for couples, $200 for tables of 8 and $250 for tables of 10.

For more information on the event, you can visit their website at www.visalialatinorotary.org or call (559) 713-4040.

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