Murphys Day of The Dead
Murphys Community Honor the Dead in the Land of the Skulls on Dia de los Muertos.
Join us on the first Saturday in November!
Murphys merchants and tasting rooms will be celebrating the Seventh Annual Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, on November 4th, 2017 from 11-6:30 pm.
November 1, 2017 Update: All park activities have been relocated to the Native Sons Hall at 389 Main Street, Murphys due to anticipated rain. The procession to the cemetery has been canceled.
Participating businesses will be offering authentic cultural art, food, sugar skulls, face painting and live music, as well as displaying altars celebrating the lives of those who have passed on but are with us in heart and spirit on the Day of the Dead. We’ll once again include a Catrina and Catrin Dress Contest at 4:30 pm Saturday afternoon in the Park followed by a Candle Light Procession to the Catholic Cemetery (procession canceled due to rain). Those wishing to participate in the procession should meet at the Park by 5:45 pm. Make sure to bring your flashlight and warm clothing. Mexican hot chocolate and pan de muertos will be available for purchase after the ceremony. Download the 2017 Day of the Dead Schedule for all the details – updated to reflect the changes due to weather.
The celebration in the Park will (now located in the Native Sons Hall due to rain) include traditional entertainment beginning at 1 pm featuring folklorico dancers, musicians, food and drinks for sale and authentic craft vendors. Purchases of food will benefit the Murphys Community Club who are responsible for maintaining and improving our lovely park along the creek. This year the folklorico dancers will again offer dancing lessons in the Native Sons Hall if space is available.
Don’t miss the miniature donkeys who will be visiting from Half Ass Adventures. Purchase your raffle tickets for a chance to win a day trip to the high country for wine pairings with a local winemaker and an evening in Murphys including breakfast the next day during the summer of 2018. Half Ass Adventures will be your guides and those charming donkeys will be carrying your gear so you can enjoy the walk unencumbered.
This ancient holiday traces it’s roots back to the indigenous cultures of Mexico, Latin America, and Europe but has become inextricably intertwined with the Catholic observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day over time. Although this celebration is associated with the dead, it is traditionally a period full of life, happiness, color, food, family, and fun. In Mexico, outdoor markets display and sell symbolic items like special breads, pottery, baskets, candles, paper puppets, candy skulls, and flowers. Skeletons are also an important symbol of this day and are displayed hugging, dancing and laughing in shop windows and on street corners.
Traditional activities are believed to “welcome the souls of the dead.” The souls are said to return each year to enjoy the pleasures of the life that they once had. These souls are thought to return as spirits from another world to be with their loved ones for a few brief hours. A widely held belief is that the souls of children (angelitos) return first so food and gifts appealing to children are set out for them. The adult dead are said to return a day or two later and their favorite items, as well as elaborate food and drink, are set out for them as well. It is believed that candlelight, as well as the scent of marigolds and copal incense, will help the ghosts find their way back home.
There will be activities appropriate for children as well as face painters.
The public is welcome to participate in the remembrance of loved ones by contributing items to the altars. Please contact the business owner first though to make sure there is an appropriate space for your item.
Additional information on the history, traditions, and beliefs associated with the Day of the Dead can be found on the mexconnect website.
Like the event on Facebook Dia De Los Muertos Murphys California where you can also find additional information on this year’s celebration and sign up to participate in the Catrin/Catrina contest.
Thank you to our 2017 sponsors who make this event possible: Mark Twain Medical Center/Dignity Health, Half Ass Adventures, Milliaire Winery, Black Sheep Winery, Murphys Historic Hotel, Stevenot Tasting Room, The Spice Tin, Tanner Vineyards, Main & Algiers, JoMa’s Artisan Ice Cream, Ironstone Vineyards, Calaveras County Arts Council, Calaveras Wine Alliance, The Pourhouse, Rob’s Place & Taste of Rob’s, Sierra Nevada Adventure Company (SNAC), Gold Electric, Sabrina Julien, Bodega del Sur Winery, Gossamer Vineyards, The Garden in Murphys, …and then some (formerly Sac A Main/The Man Cave), Land Hammer, Newsome Harlow Tasting Room, Sierra Hills Market and Aria Bakery. Please thank them when you stop in next time.