Día de Los Muertos | Rhode Island

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Dia de Los Muertos
is a Mexican tradition all about celebrating life and remembering our deceased loved ones. November 1st and 2nd are considered to be the days where life on earth and life in the land of the dead come together. This is a time when the loved ones who have passed-on return symbolically to appreciate lifeʼs pleasures, such as eating, drinking and reuniting with their families here on earth.

Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience: a continuum with birth, childhood, and adulthood. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of our community, awakened from their eternal sleep to be in spirit with loved ones.

Why We All Need to Celebrate Día de Los Muertos in 2020

Rhode Island, like the rest of the country, is in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. As of this writing, the state has confirmed 21,022 cases and 1,030 deaths due to COVID-19.

Families whose loved ones have died during the pandemic have faced unprecedented restrictions and challenges. To not say goodbye to loved ones, to not have loved ones attend funeral services, or to not even find a permanent resting place for a loved one is changing how people grieve. Most families are having graveside funerals and postponing memorial services until the stay-at-home orders and restrictions on group gatherings are lifted.

This year, more than ever, Rhode Islanders must join together to collectively celebrate the lives of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. It is our hope that the sadness brought on by the pandemic can become a time to celebrate the lives of those who have left us, and that we can replace despair with hope.
In line with our annual cultural celebration of Día de Los Muertos, RILA will be organizing a culturally appropriate event in the City of Providence that is based on the Mexican cultural celebration of Día de Los Muertos, which would allow individuals who lost family members to COVID-19 to properly mourn.

If you would like to participate and remember a loved one, click below. What we are looking for:

  • The name of someone you wish to remember.
  • A digital photo of him/her. HiRez 300dpi preferred.
  • A photo memory, such as an item that belonged to him/her, a favorite food, a song or piece of art that he/she cherished, or that reminds you of them.
  • A short written or recorded memory you'd like to share. Send it in writing or create a short video/audio file to upload.

To volunteer, click below. More details on the logistics of the event will be announced later in the summer.

RILA receives funding from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities, Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and the Rhode Island Foundation.
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