Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday. It pays tribute to the lives of loved ones who have passed on. The Día de los Muertos celebration traces its roots to the time of the Aztec people in Central America but was later influenced by cultural and religious practices brought by the Spanish. It is widely celebrated today in Mexico and the American Southwest, though celebrations can now be found throughout the United States due to its universal theme of remembrance, honor and love. Special exhibits, called altars, are set up as memorials to departed loved ones, and often contain items that were special to them. This may include a photo of the person, samples of their favorite foods, symbols of activities they loved, and bright yellow flowers. Pan de muerto (a typical day of the dead bread) is abundantly displayed during the festival. Sugar skulls (calavera) are decorated and fancy paper cut-outs (papel picado) add color to homes, tables and altars.
The Nevada State Museum joins Western Nevada College and Visit Carson City each year to offer this extraordinary cultural event free to everyone. In 2021 the celebration will be held Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th. Friday evening will be the altar presentation with music and traditional refreshments. Saturday will be a free admission day at the museum from 8:30am-4:30pm. Festivities on Saturday will include traditional crafts, music, and dance. It will be an all-day event so stay and eat at the food truck parked on Curry St. There will also be a museum sponsored community altar created so that members of the community can participate in remembering departed loved ones.
The museum is open to the public Wednesday-Saturday from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. The altar exhibition will be free to the public during museum hours in the Dema Guinn Concourse.