Murphys Day of The Dead

Share this content

Murphys Community Honors the Dead in the Land of the Skulls for 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 2nd, 2019 from 11-6:00 pm.

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 on Saturday afternoon in the Park followed by a brief remembrance.  Mexican hot chocolate and pan de muertos will be available for purchase during & after the ceremony.

Please contact Catherine at before 4 pm on Friday or sign up in the Park before 2 pm on Saturday to participate in the Catrin & Catrina Contests.  Children are welcome to participate in our contest for younger Catrin & Catrinas at 2 pm in the Park.  Please come by 15 minutes early to grab your spot, no advance registration necessary for the kids.

The celebration in the Park will include traditional entertainment beginning at noon featuring folklorico dancers, musicians, food and drinks for sale and authentic craft vendors.  Purchases of food & drinks 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 at 2:30 pm.

Download the schedule: 2018 Day of the Dead Schedule (2019 schedule coming in October)

This ancient holiday traces its 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 bread, 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 2018 major sponsors who make this event possible:
Dignity Health
Main & Algiers
Marisolio Tasting Room
Murphys Pourhouse
Tanner Tasting Room
Calaveras Arts Council
Calaveras Wine Alliance
Half Ass Adventures
Ironstone Vineyards
Jomas Artisan Ice Cream
Murphys Grille
Murphys Historic Hotel
Rob’s Place
The Lucky Penny Public House
The Spice Tin

Please thank them when you stop in next time.


A stroll down tree-lined Main Street transports visitors back to the mid-1800s with buildings bearing thick stoned walls, iron shutters, and pastoral gardens with white picket fences ...

Read More