For two days in the fall, Día de los Muertos is celebrated across Mexico and in Mexican-American communities around the country. This year, Long Beach will honor the tradition with events happening across the city.

The annual holiday is a Mexican tradition that honors ancestors and loved ones that have died by celebrating their memory through vibrant displays of art, music and culture.

It’s a joyous celebration rooted in the belief that the spirits of our loved ones return to the real world. Traditional ofrendas (alters) feature a loved ones photo and are laden with their favorite foods, personal mementos, art, calaveras (sugar skulls) and vibrant marigolds.

Though it’s typically celebrated from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, events across the city will begin this weekend, leading up to the 8th annual Día de los Muertos Parade and Festival in Downtown on Nov. 4.

Here’s a list of Día de los Muertos events happening in and around Long Beach:

Día de los Muertos Festival at 2ND & PCH (Saturday)

Flyer promoting the Dia de los Muertos festival at 2ND & PCH on Saturday, Oct. 28. Courtesy of the 2ND & PCH website.

This Saturday, Unidos Community Events is hosting a family-friendly Día de los Muertos night market festival at 2ND & PCH from 4 to 8 p.m.

The market will feature mariachi and folklórico dance performances, seasonally themed artisanal goods from over 30 vendors, and alter installations. Themed arts and crafts will be available for kids as well as face painting and photo opportunities with special characters.

Guests are encouraged to dress in their best Catrina or Catrin look with flower crowns and skull makeup to participate in a costume contest.

2ND & PCH is located at 6400 Pacific Coast Hwy.

Amor Eterno – Una Noche de Memorias (Saturday)

Local pop-up, Adelita’s Revenge, is hosting an immersive dining experience where attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the rich history of Día de los Muertos and share stories of their ancestors all while savoring traditional Mexican dishes. The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Viento y Agua coffee shop.

The food menu includes Mexican charcuterie, mole and pan de muerto and drinks include sangria, tequila and mezcal.

With live performances, art exhibitions and interactive activities like sugar skull making and spiritual cleansing, attendees will be able to embrace the beauty of the cultural tradition.

Dinner tickets are $60 and can be purchased here.

Viento y Agua is located at 4007 East 4th St. More info.

Lakewood: Noche de Altares (Saturday)

Flyer for the Noche de Altares Day of the Dead Celebration at Vida y Alma House of Beauty on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Vida y Alma House of Beauty in Lakewood is hosting a free Día de los Muertos celebration from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday that will feature tarot card readings, Aztec dance performances, local food and vendor pop-ups.

The tarot card readings are by appointment only and can be scheduled by emailing info@vyahouseofbeauty or texting 213-425-4164.

Attendees are encouraged to bring photos and offerings to memorialize their loved ones on an alter at the event.

Vida y Alma House of Beauty is located at 5840 Adenmoor Ave, Lakewood, CA.

Wilmington: Día de los Muertos at Wilmington Cemetery (Saturday)

Flyer promoting the 4th Annual Dia de los Muertos pop-up event at Wilmington Cemertery. Flyer courtesy of the Wilmington Cemetery website.

Back for its fourth year, the Wilmington Ceremony is hosting a massive Día de los Muertos event with over 60 vendors selling cultural items like piñatas, hand-made accessories, candles, food and more.

Los Angeles-based mariachi group Mariachi Tequila Express will be performing from noon to 5 p.m.

The event is free to attend and no sign-up is required.

Wilmington Cemetery is located at 605 E. O St. Wilmington, CA. 

Washington Neighborhood Día de los Muertos Celebration (Saturday)

Flyer courtesy of the Washington Neighborhood Association.

Residents are invited to participate in a cultural celebration at 14th Street Park in Long Beach’s Washington Neighborhood this Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

The event, hosted by the Washington Neighborhood Association, Washington Middle School, Habitat for Humanity LA, District 1 and others, will feature live music, games and community resources for the whole family.

The event will take place at 14th Street Park between Cedar Avenue and Pacific Avenue on 14th Street. 

Puente Latino Association Día de los Muertos Celebration (Saturday)

Saturday evening from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Puente Latino Association will activate the alley behind Starr King Elementary School for a night of arts and crafts, music and dancing.

From now until Friday, the nonprofit is seeking volunteers to help prepare paper flowers and paper mache skulls for their event displays. Click here for more information on volunteering.

The Día de los Muertos Celebration will take place in the alley next to 101 E. 67th St. More info.

Remember Me: Celebrating our Ancestors (Sunday)

Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach is hosting a Día de los Muertos church service on Sunday at 10 a.m. to give residents an opportunity to honor their loved ones who have died.

Attendees are encouraged to bring photos to place on the alter of loved ones they would like to be remembered during the service. Photos may also be sent to [email protected] to be included in an online slideshow.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach is located at 5450 East Atherton St. and the service will also be available on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Hecho con Amor at MOLAA (Sunday)

Flyer promoting the Museum of Latin American Art’s annual Dia de los Muertos event. Courtesy of MOLAA.

The Museum of Latin American Art will host its annual Día de los Muertos Family Festival this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and this years will be bigger than ever before, according to MOLAA.

The theme for this years event is Hecho con Amor or Made with Love, in honor of the museum’s latest exhibition, Festin de Sabores, which offers an intimate look at the richness and complexity of Mexican cuisine.

DJ Caveman will kick-off the event and be followed by folklorico and aztec dance performances by groups Neiya Arts, Ballet Folklorico Nueva Antequera, ASOSAL Ballet Folklorico de El Salvador and Danza Azteca Xochipilli.

“This year will be bigger and better than ever with over 36 merchants, nine delicious food stations, beer & wine, and sweets for the kids and the kids at heart,” according to the museum’s website.

Attendees will also be able to enjoy free face painting, a children’s sugar skull workshop, and a printmaking station.

Be sure to dress in your best Catrina or Catrin costume to be entered into the costume contest for the chance to win a grand prize of $500. Live judging for the costume contest will take place at 2 p.m.

MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Ave.

Día de los Muertos Grand Parade and Festival (Saturday, Nov. 4)

Performers of Mariachi Angelitos play live music for guests attending the Dia de Los Muertos celebration on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

The highly anticipated Downtown Long Beach Día de los Muertos Parade and Festival is back for its eighth consecutive year on Saturday, Nov. 4.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Pine Avenue and Third Street, making its way down East Shoreline Drive to Rainbow Lagoon where the Artes and Ofrendas Festival will take place at noon.

Last year’s event attracted over 20,000 people, according to event organizers, who watched colorful floats, classic cars, ballet folklórico dancers, and Catrinas and Aztec dancers parade down Pine Avenue.

More details on the Artes and Ofrendas Festival are forthcoming and tickets may be purchased online here. Adult tickets are $10 and children 10 and under are $5.

Vatos Who Tiki – Rockin’ Día De Los Muertos Marketplace (Sunday, Nov. 5)

On Sunday, Nov. 5, Vatos Who Tiki will host a pop-up Día de los Muertos marketplace at Roxanne’s in Long Beach’s California Heights neighborhood.

The event will feature DJ performances, tiki drinks and vintage clothing vendors.

Roxanne’s is located at 1115 East Wardlow Rd. More info.