Fairs, Festivals, & Fiestas

18th Annual Community Celebration for the Days of the Dead

When: Sun., Oct. 21, 12-4 p.m. 2012

When a loved one passes away, the loss can make us feel disoriented and helplesss — which is why the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) can be so cathartic. Every year on and around November 1, family and friends gather to make colorful altars that pay homage to the dearly departed, incorporating the person’s favorite foods, some of their possessions, and traditional items such as sugar skulls, Catrina figures, and marigold flowers. Day of the Dead celebrations happen throughout the Bay Area, but one of the best is at the Oakland Museum of California (100 Oak St., Oakland). On Sunday, Oct. 21, a family-friendly event in the museum’s gardens features craft activities, food, dance, and music, plus access to the Days of the Dead exhibit, in which local unsung heroes are honored with altars and installations. Noon-4:30 p.m. Free with museum admission ($12 for adults, $6 for kids and seniors, free for kids under eight). 510-318-8400 or MuseumCA.org

Kathleen Richards

Price: included with Museum admission

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