When the sweet scent of pan de muerto takes hold of your nose and you catch whiffs of copal incense smoke in the air, you know Day of the Dead is near. It’s become one of my favorite holidays, and its spirit is spilling over to the U.S. in a big way.
As a kid, I remember visiting the graves of relatives in northern Mexico, retouching the letters on their gravestones with gold paint and sprucing up their tombstones with new flowers. But it wasn’t until I moved to Mexico City years later that I fell in love with the food, festivities and flowers of the occasion that’s celebrated Nov. 1-2, but can be enjoyed weeks before with altars, sugar skulls, tamales and more. Day of the Dead isn’t a solemn, dark or scary occasion. It’s probably one of the most colorful holidays I know, with pops of fuchsia, gold and orange brightening up celebrations that honor the life of relatives who are still missed.
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Welcome to Cultura En Austin, a monthly column highlighting Latino-related events in Austin. Look for it on the last Friday of the month. Send tips or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter: @latinoculture.