Iowans of Latino heritage will be marking two holidays this week, Halloween and the Day of the Dead. While Halloween and trick-or-treating are American traditions, the Day of the Dead dates back to pre-Columbian Meso-American culture. One place where it’ll be celebrated is the Des Moines Art Center, where Mike Crall is spokesman. Crall says the Day of the Dead is a symbolic time for the living to remember departed relatives and friends with special customs and ceremonies. In preparation, families traditionally spend time creating altars to honor loved ones and preparing special foods. Crall says two Central Iowans of Hispanic heritage have been chosen for being remembered at the Art Center. Crall says the Day of the Dead is actually a celebration of life which also honors those who have gone before us. He says one of the traditional foods prepared on this day is translated as being “bread of the dead.” The “pan de los muertos” is often baked in the shape of a skeleton. Festivities will include a mariachi band, a theatrical performance, a native blessing and two family art workshops. The event will be held Sunday from 1 to 4 PM and is free. For more information, call (515) 277-4405 or visit “www.DesMoinesArtCenter.org”.
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