El Concilio Kalamazoo isn't letting COVID-19 get in the way of their 7th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration. They intend to play all the music, participate in all the dances, adorn themselves with traditional paint and costumes, and eat all their favorite Dia de los Muertos food, it will just be virtual! And you're invited.

According to History.com, Dia de los Muertos is a blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion, and Spanish culture. It is a time when the veil between this life and the afterlife is lifted and families can have a brief but important reunion with their deceased loved ones. This is a tradition that goes back over 3,000 years and was celebrated by the Aztecs and other inhabitants of what is now central Mexico. Early Mesoamericans believed that upon death, a person would be faced with nine challenges before they reached their final resting place. To help, their living relatives would bury them with tools and food. This gave way to the altar, one of the centerpieces in the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. An altar is built in honor of the departed family member where a photo of the relative is placed along with candles, incense, food, and items that the spirit enjoyed in their life. The altar is then decorated with flowers and skulls, and it is through this altar that the dead are able to reunite with the living.

According to El Concilio Kalamazoo's website, their virtual Dia de los Muertos event will stream live on the El Concilio Kzoo Facebook page Monday, November 2nd from 6:30 to 7:30pm and will feature a tour of the community's altars, piñata competition, and gift bags for children that can be picked up beforehand. All the fun and tradition of the annual celebration from the safety and comfort of your own home. Click here for more details.

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