Morbid Anatomy is very excited to announce two wonderful Day of the Dead celebrations taking place this upcoming Day of the Dead and Halloween weekend!
On Saturday October 30th, Philadelphia's incomparable Mütter Museum will be hosting their 3rd Annual Day of the Dead Festival, where I will be giving two lectures as keynote speaker. The very next day--Sunday October 31st, aka Halloween proper--Morbid Anatomy will be co-hosting the Second Annual Observatory Day of the Dead Party, replete with authetic Red Hook Latin food vendors, a death piñata, traditional food and drinks, sugar skulls, a José Posada (see above) inspired community altar, costumes, Negra Modelo, live music and much, much more.
Hope to see you at one or both of these fantastic events (detailed below)! But either way, Feliz Dia de Muertos from Morbid Anatomy at our favorite time of the year!
Saturday October 30th [link]For more information on the Mütter Museum 3rd Annual Day of the Dead Festival, click here; for more information about the Observatory Dia de Muertos party, click here. To see photos from last year's Dia de Muertos Observatory Party--which will give you a sense of what you're in for--click here.
The Mütter Museum’s 3nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival
Come celebrate this traditional Mexican holiday with an all-day event at the Mütter Museum! Decorate sugar skulls, enjoy traditional food and drink, visit the Museum, hear from guest speaker, artist Joanna Ebenstein and see an exclusive show by local personality Grover Silcox!
- 10AM: Museum opens and sugar skull decorating begins
- 12PM and 4PM: Talk by Artist Joanna Ebenstein
- 5 - 6:30PM: Guided museum tour, exclusively for Friends of the Mütter
- 6:30 - 8PM: Exclusive performance by Grover Silcox
Sponsored by the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
(NOTE: Registration is not required for daytime festivities and is free with Museum admission; registration IS required, with additional cost for admission, to Silcox production.)
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) Party
Date: Sunday, October 31st
Time: 5 PM - ?
Please R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org for party planning purposes.
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated annually in Mexico during the last days of October and the first days of November. It is a party to honor the dearly departed by presenting offerings to them, building an altar, and inviting them to reunite with the living in a nightly feast including their favorite dishes and drinks. It has deep roots in ancient, pre-Hispanic celebrations, but it also integrates the Christian traditions brought to the country by the Spanish –the main celebration takes place on November 2nd, coinciding with All Saints Day.
On Sunday, October 31th, and for the second year in a row, Morbid Anatomy and Observatory will host a Day of the Dead party in tandem with author and scholar Salvador Olguin. This year, we will build an altar dedicated to the Economy. Traditionally, the Day of the Dead altar is dedicated to a person whose death is deeply felt by the people building it; in spite of some hopeful reports by some cheerful voices, our global Economy does not seem to be recovering quickly enough from its recent collapse. This year, we will bring her some offerings, attract her with a few bottles of tequila, and lure her back to the realm of the living with the fragrant smell of incense and marigolds. Feel free to collaborate with our altar building by bringing objects that express how deeply felt the departure of the Economy was for you and your close ones. We want to entice the ghost of the Economy to walk again among the living, to come back from the afterworld and celebrate with us, Mexican style.
Many of this year’s features are based in the art of Jose Guadalupe Posada, a Mexican printer and illustrator who worked around the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910), and who used his art to satirize prominent figures of his era. His best-known works are his calaveras (skulls), etchings depicting dancing skeletons, skulls dressed up as Revolucionarios and politicians, etc. Since this November we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, it felt natural to honor Posada by having a live version of one of his most famous calaveras: La Catrina. Made by Posada as a depiction of the skeleton of a rich lady, La Catrina has come to represent a satirical version of Death herself in Mexico. At our party, La Catrina will mingle with our guests, and people will be able to have their picture taken with her, in front of our altar.
At this year’s Dia De Muertos party, you will also find pan de muerto, champurrado (a traditional Mexican beverage), sugar skulls, marigolds, Negra Modelo, traditional foods and crafts, a community altar, a piñata of death herself to dash to bits, live traditional music, a death themed slide show produced by Morbid Anatomy, and, of course, Redhook vendors taco truck supplying delicious and authentic foodstuffs. If you would like to dress appropriately for the occasion, you only need to take an old suit or dress, or wear the clothes of a person whose death means something for you, or simply wear your everyday clothes: everything works, as long as you add a touch of the hereafter to it –some make up to look a little pale, a skeleton suit, some dirt under your fingernails. Or you can go all the way and dress up like one of Posada’s Calaveras.
We hope you can join us! Feliz Dia de Muertos!
Salvador Olguin’s work has been published in magazines both in Mexico and in the US. He is the author of Seven Days, a multimedia theatrical piece that celebrates the convergence of traditions and hybridism that characterizes Mexico’s fascination with mortality. He has worked extensively with Mexican cultural artifacts related with death. He is currently performing research on the metaphoric uses of prostheses in literature and the visual arts, at New York University, as well as writing poems about the life of plants and the genealogy of intelligent machines. He was born in Monterrey, Mexico and is currently based in Brooklyn.
Images: Top: “Happy Dance and Wild Party of All the Skeletons,” by José Guadalupe Posada, via Radio Free Mike. Mütter image: From Anatomical Theatre Exhibition