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Dia de los Muertos, which translates from Spanish to “Day of the Dead,” is a Mexican holiday that celebrates loved ones and family members who have passed away. Dia de los Muertos typically takes place in early November, while some celebrations on this list actually occur near Halloween. However, this holiday is not related to or shouldn’t be confused with Halloween.
Dia de los Muertos is now celebrated throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. Nowadays, decorative skull face paint has become a common costume for those celebrating the Day of the Dead. An altar for the deceased, known as an ofrenda, along with a huge party with food and drink are common staples found at these celebrations. Embrace the Day of the Dead this fall at these top Texas cities that have the best Dia de los Muertos celebrations.
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There are a few Day of the Dead celebrations that occur in San Antonio. The one at Hemisfair is one of the liveliest, featuring art booths, ofrendas, music, food and is a not-to-be-missed cultural event in the city. Sign up for the Altar contest or catch the live presentations. There are two stages of live bands, dancers and poets as well as a DJ stage, children’s stage and dance, drum and puppet procession. You’ll also be able to see the largest open altar exhibition in the city. If you have extra time, check out the best things to do in Downtown San Antonio.
Dates: October 23rd & 24th, 2021
Multiple blocks in downtown Corpus Christi are dedicated to this city’s annual Dia de los Muertos festival. This large festival features three stages that provide live music from a variety of music genres, from Latin Pop to Mariachi to Tejano tunes. Kids can enjoy face painting, crafts and games at the Kids’ Corner. While adults can enjoy the food, drinks and over 75 shop vendors. Community members are also encouraged to create altars that will be displayed during Corpus Christi’s Day of the Dead festival. Other events and activities include a self-guided walking tour of altars throughout downtown and several art exhibitions.
Date: Street festival portion of event has been canceled for 2021. Official Website
Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin hosts a Dia de los Muertos festival every year known as Viva La Vida Fest. This event is the longest-running Day of the Dead festival in the city of Austin. There are many activities that occur during Viva La Vida Fest. Live music, retail vendors and local art are some of the main attractions. The Grand Procession is a parade that starts off the celebration and is a great way to view elaborate Dia de los Muertos costumes. However don’t forget to browse through the Education Pavilion to view artist demos and fun, interactive art displays. End the day by indulging in some traditional Mexican fare and hanging by the pool at your Austin vacation rental.
Date: October 30th, 2021
The Dia de los Muertos festival in Denton, known as Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival, is a unique mix of Dia de los Muertos, Halloween and a celebration of fall. Grab a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, listen to live music, view circus acts and stare at all the costumes at this fun and family-friendly fest. The coffin races at Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival shouldn’t be missed, as it has become a popular event at this unique Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Date: 2021 event canceled.
Houston has a couple Dia de los Muertos events including a fun run and parties and celebrations. One of the best Dia de los Muertos celebrations is put on by MECA. Enjoy altar and retablo exhibitions, community workshops and a variety of foods from the Americas. You’re sure to have a great time no matter what event you choose to attend in Houston during Day of the Dead. Looking for more fun? Check out these free things to do in Houston.
Dates: October 30th & 31st, 2021
The Dia de los Muertos celebration in Victoria takes places at The Nave Museum and the De Leon Plaza. The event features an eclectic parade, full of floats and costumed participants holding up altars or pictures of their deceased loved ones. However, the event wouldn’t be complete without live music, cultural performances and a variety of art, craft, food and beverage vendors. Don’t miss the Day of the Dead altars on display in the museum, which were created by local artists and students.
Dates: October 30th, 2021