Dia De Los Muertos Events Alter In Time of Pandemic

Nico Payne

As Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations start to kick-off around the Coachella Valley this year. We wanted to highlight events that are happening, along with the many changes due to Covid-19, but more importantly how families can participate.

Dia De Los Muertos is a tradition of remembrance for those who have passed on. While the public is normally invited to the museum to make altars, this year will be different, as Sunnylands has invited various organizations to create altars instead.

One of the altars being dedicated to the more than 1,300 Riverside county residents who have passed away from covid-19.

“It really brings home the humanity and the loss of life, and the suffering, not just from those who have passed, but those who have suffered from respiratory distress from being in the hospital,” said Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz.

This year the Palm Springs Art Museum partnered with Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz to create the community altar.

Other displays also include altars dedicated to the black lives matter movement and in remembrance of some of our political leaders who recently passed. 

“Bringing my daughters with my wife to the altar and really explaining to them the significance of the pan muerto, the bread of the dead, and the beautiful flowers, and the papel picado,” explained Ruiz.

“It’s something I just kind of found out about a couple of years ago, and it’s like you live next to another culture and you don’t even realize it so this all like an education to me, and everything. it’s just beautiful,” said Ken Pacione, Indio Resident.

The altars will be on view until November 1st, and the public is invited to attend and write a message to loved ones and those who have passed on.

“This year it’s extra important to reflect on those who have passed away from the pandemic in order to humanize the pandemic and their stories,” added Ruiz.

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