MECA presents Día de los Muertos Festival
MECA’s annual Día de los Muertos Festival will animate the historic part of the Washington Avenue Arts District. Everybody is invited to partake in this celebration of the family and friends who passed away, and rich traditions and customs surrounding the Día de los Muertos and similar practices in other cultures.
Bringing together both festive and contemplative elements, MECA's festival features a two-stage live performance showcase reflective of Houston’s multicultural communities; the exhibition of ofrendas (altars) by community members, local artists, and activists (October 10–November 18); and children’s area with performances and attractions for all ages, including customary face-painting. Guests are invited to enjoy Texan and Latin American delicacies and handpicked selection of booths by artisans and artists. A new addition to the festival is a community health fair that will connect the participants to vital resources at no cost.
To acknowledge the holiday’s deep indigenous roots, the Aztec dance group Taxcayolotl kicks off this year’s events. Other performers include: Tallercito de Son, son jarocho group from San Antonio; South Indian classical vocalist Prema Bhat; and Latino-fusion pop group Los Guerreros de la Música. MECA’s own ballet folklórico students will showcase dances such as viejada - the processional Day-of-the-Dead dance rooted in the heritage of the Veracruz’s huasteca people.
The Mexican tradition of creating altars to the deceased provides a safe space for the people from all walks of life to remember and grieve their loved ones. Similarly, the joyful character of the holiday helps educate and break the silence that tends to surround the experience that is universal. The altars at MECA show the voices of multiple cultures in Houston.