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5 Places to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos in the Texas Hill Country

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El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), a Mexican celebration, is a day to celebrate, remember, and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the streets near the cemeteries are filled with decorations of papel picado, flowers, candy calaveras (skeletons and skulls), and parades. It is believed that the spirit of the dead visit their families on October 31 and leave on November 2. In order to celebrate, the families make altars and place ofrendas (offerings) of food such as pan de muertos baked in shapes of skulls and figures, candles, incense, yellow marigolds known as cempazuchitl (also spelled zempasuchil) and most importantly a photo of the departed soul is placed on the altar.

Whether you celebrate the special day or just enjoy partaking in the festivities, the Hill Country has lots of unique Day of the Dead celebrations.

Here are 5 places in the Texas Hill Country to mark this special day in the Hispanic culture:

San Antonio DDLM

Photo: Facebook/Dia de los Muertos Celebration

October 28 and 29

Día de Los Muertos Celebration brings together traditional art and culture with the best in live music entertainment to create a two-day destination event for the City of San Antonio to celebrate the Day of the Dead. The event hosts a variety of activities over the weekend celebration including the largest open altar exhibition in the city.

Events are free and open to the public including live music at Arneson River Theater, original Day of the Dead art, living altar, dance, drum and puppet procession, live poetry and more!

New Braunfels DDLM

Photo: Facebook/New Braunfels Hispanic Business Alliance

October 28

The Chamber’s New Braunfels Hispanic Business Alliance is hosting the 2nd Annual Dia De Los Muertos Festival on Saturday, October 28 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the downtown core on San Antonio Street. The festival is free to attend. This cultural event will feature local food, drinks, arts & crafts, an ofrenda (offering space) for honoring the lives of loved ones passed, vendor booths, shopping, and live entertainment. The music lineup features Mariachi, Folklorico dancers, and Tejano sensation Sunny Sauceda and Crystal Garza. Also, this year will have a special treat with a surprise performance you’ll be sure to remember.

Dia de los Muertos

Photo: Facebook/Mexic-Arte Museum

October 28

Mexic-Arte Museum’s Viva La Vida Fest is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. The free festival features a Grand Procession, an education pavilion with hands-on art activities and artist demos, and a celebration including traditional foods, local artists, and retail booths, a low-rider exhibition, live music, and performances throughout the day. This year’s festival will honor Frida Kahlo in conjunction with the autumn exhibit “Diego & Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way.”

Round Rock DDLM

Photo: Facebook/Round Rock Ballet Folklorico

October 28

Round Rock Ballet Folklorico and Williamson Hispanic Heritage Committee present the festival at Centennial Plaza, 301 West Bagdad, Round Rock. The parade starts at 5:00 p.m. from CD Fulkes Elementary, 300 West Anderson Avenue. This event is free and lasts from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

San Marcos DDLM

Photo: Facebook/Dia de los Muertos 5k in San Marcos, Tx

October 28

Run off all of that Halloween candy that you’ve been eating at the San Marcos Dia de los Muertos 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run held on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at Hernandez Elementary, 333 Stagecoach Trail San Marcos, Texas.