Wednesday, November 6, 2013

14th Annual "Day of The Dead" Festival at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

THE 14th ANNUAL “DIA DE LOS MUERTOS” FESTIVAL At Hollywood Forever CeMetery

Photos & story by Karen Ostlund
Photo of Saul Hernandez by D. Young Wolff

The 14th annual "Dia de Los Muertos" at Hollywood Forever Cemetery took place last Saturday, November 2nd, from noon until midnight.
Day of the Dead headliner Saul Hernandez
The mainstage headliner featured vocalist and former lead singer of the bands Caifanes and Jaguares, Saul Hernandez.
Saul Hernandez creates music that reflects the present and is rooted in the most telluric past. His music is more than a concert, it is a ritual.
The theme for this year celebration was El Magico Mundo de Los Alebrijes - The Magical World of Alebrijes.


Alebrijes were brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. The first alebrijes, along with use of the term, originated with Pedro Linares. After dreaming of the creatures while sick in the 1930s, he began to create what he saw in cardboard and paper mache. Today Alebrijes are a vibrant part of the culture of Oaxaca.
Dance performances by Aztec Ritual Dancers
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is home to the oldest memorial park in Hollywood, since it opened in 1899. It is located on 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, and it is the only cemetery in the country, which opens its gates and welcomes its surrounding community to commemorate El Dia de Los Muertos.
The historical roots of this celebration go back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua, and others native to Mexico more than 3000 years.

Performance by Andrea Zuniga
Indigenous people believed that the souls did not die, that they continued to live in Mictlan (Place of death) a special place for them to finally rest.

On the Day of the Dead, tradition holds that the dead return to earth to visit their living relatives. It is also believed that even if these relatives can’t see them, they can feel them.
It’s a way to come to terms with our mortality and become aware of the cycle of life and death.


Debut appearance Ceci Bastida
Grave altar nr. 50 S. Spencer


The Nestle Abuelita and NESCAFE Cafe de Olla booth.



A vibrant traditional procession in the home of Hollywood's
Immortals with traditional Aztec blessings and Regional Musical-
Dance group dedications.
Musical performances by Saul Hernandez, Ceci Bastida,
Andrea Zuniga Buyepongo, Chicano Batman and Quitapenas.
100+ Altars created by members of the community to their  
ancestors and loved ones.
100's of Aztec Ritual Dancers in full costume
A new third stage featuring music and theatrical performances
An Art Exhibition in the Cathedral Mausoleum
A costume contest for the best dressed Calaca (skeleton)
A children’s arts project area presented by LACMA
(The Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
Arts and Crafts vendors
Food vendors from around Los Angeles

Stilt Cirque, winners of costume contest won $ 500
On stage, altar  nr.43 won $3000 prize money for best traditional altar grave

Presentation of Altar winners - The judges selected the best altar of each of the  
following categories: Theme of Alebrijes, Traditional Altar, Contemporary Altar
- the best of each category won $3,000.

Cathedral Mausoleum Art Exhibit curated by Luis Villanueva.

For the complete list of altar
 and costumes winners: