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The Biggest Annual Día de los Muertos Festival returns to Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, CA - The biggest Day of the Dead event has returned to the Hollywood Forever cemetery after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. This had been an annual event for the past 22 years.

Photo credit: Cynthia Puga

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican celebration honoring and remembering friends and family members who are no longer here on Earth. This ancient tradition is used to tell stories of their past loved ones to keep their memories alive. An old legend says this is the night their spirits come and visit the living.

The event included a viewing of multiple ofrendas, or altars, made by family members who wanted to remember those who have passed on. Ofrendas are made up of marigolds, pictures of loved ones, candles, sweet bread sugar skulls and other foods and items they used to enjoy during their lifetime.

Cynthia Jimenez, who just began her ofrenda tradition, says after her sister died 5 years ago, she's continued her tradition of building the altar every year. "It's a way to celebrate our loves ones and tell them that we're here and that they're still in our memories," said Jimenez.

Photo credit: Cynthia Puga

The event also included multiple food stands, costume contests and traditional dances throughout the day. Angeles Gonzales, who is a part of the folkloric group Cielito Lindo says she enjoys being a part of the celebration. She also mentioned it was her first year attending the Hollywood Forever event. "This is an event I really wish I could continue to come to every year," said Gonzales.

The event is split into two different times. The daytime event is from 9 am to 3 pm while the nighttime goes from 5 pm to midnight. The night event sold out almost a week before the bid day while there were a few tickets left for the morning event. No vaccination card was required to enter, but guests were encouraged to wear their masks.

Video credit: Cynthia Puga

Video credit: National Geographic

By Cynthia Puga

With contributions from The Hollywood Forever Cemetery site

Photos, Cynthia Puga

Video Credit, Cynthia Puga, National Geographic


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