Celebrate with SAM: Día de los Muertos

It’s the time of year for pumpkin spiced lattes, changing leaves, Seattleites relishing in the last few days of sunshine before the months of monotonous drizzle ensue, and strutting your stuff in your DIY/thrift shop/homemade (the only way to do it in my opinion) Halloween costume. Tonight, when your makeup starts running and your carefully crafted costume is dripping from the rain, remember that tomorrow you can warm up at SAM’s celebration of Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead).

Last night, while I was safety pinning my felt cut-out stars (which I’m pretty sure a kindergartener could have cut out better) to my high wasted blue shorts, I felt my enthusiasm building. But this enthusiasm did not pertain Halloween plans; instead all I could think about was Día de los Muertos! Yesterday, I made my way down to the Brotman Forum to check out the hand crafted tapete (sand painting) and was blown away. Not knowing quite what to expect, I was floored with the size, vivid colors, and detail in this work. I thought to myself, “this is just a fraction of what is to come on Friday night!”

If you have not been to a SAM event, this celebration would be a great place to start as it highlights the beauty and tradition of Día de los Muertos with art, dancing, music, delicious food, and more. Oh, and did I mention this family friendly reception is FREE? If for some reason you cannot make it to the celebration, the tapete that vibrantly decorates the Brotman Forum will be on view until November 20th.

In case you are not familiar, Día de los Muertos is an ancient celebration of the eternal cycle of life.  It combines ancient and New World traditions, folk customs, and spiritual beliefs. Mexican and Latin American communities observe Día de los Muertos traditionally on Nov. 1st and 2nd. During this time, families assemble ofrendas (altars) laden with offerings of food and drink to nourish the spirits of their loved ones on their long journey.  Clay figurines, sugar skeletons, and embroidery with personal messages and the names of the deceased are placed on the ofrendas along with flowers and candles. The ofrendas are then presented to the community to celebrate deceased loved ones and the ideas they imparted in life.

So, tonight as you’re shivering in your Halloween costume and thinking to yourself,  “maybe dressing as Miley Cyrus from wrecking ball was a bad idea,” recharge your dwindling enthusiasm by remembering you can continue the festivities at SAM on Friday night! Don’t miss this free opportunity to celebrate with the community while taking in the magnificent culture of this inspiring tradition. For more information, visit our site. We hope to see you there!

By Hilary St. Clair, Communications Intern

Photo by Catherine Anstett