University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Day of the Dead Celebration

Saturday 29 October 2016
11:00AM - 4:00PM
Penn Museum

Day of the Dead

The Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, The Mexican Cultural Center, and the Penn Museum present this Day of the Dead celebration. Enjoy Mexican culture and the rich traditions of Día de los Muertos at this family-friendly afternoon filled with music and dance, puppetry and storytelling, and arts and crafts. The centerpiece of the afternoon, presented in the Museum's majestic Rotunda, is a traditional Day of the Dead altar created by artists from the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center, built just for the celebration. Everyone is invited to bring a photo and a memento of their own to place at a communal altar, remembering the passing of a loved one. Groups invited by the Mexican Cultural Center display smaller altars, which compete for prizes.

Day of the Dead or Halloween costumes are encouraged, and costumed guests under age 12 receive half price general admission to the day. Guests dressed in a Day of the Dead-themed costume such as La Catrina, or as a traditional Mexican icon like Frida Kahlo, can join a parade and costume contest at 3:30 pm.

Radio Jarocho

America’s first World Heritage City, Philadelphia is a global city, and this year the celebration puts a spotlight on the Mexican state of Veracruz. Guests will be treated to a popular Veracruz export: the energetic music of the New York-based group Radio Jarocho, performing with renowned singer Zenen Zeferino. Philadelphia’s own Son revoltura/Philly son jarocho joins in the day. Son jarocho music, gaining popularity worldwide, has its roots in Veracruz.

This year’s central altar, designed by Cesar Viveros in the Veracruz style, and built with help from the Mexican Consul in Philadelphia staff members, honors popular singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel (born Alberto Aguilera Valadez), born January 7, 1950, who died suddenly of a heart attack August 28 of this year. Additional altars created by community members are also on display.

Schedule of Events

11:00 am Guests of all ages can join in the celebration with face painting, tissue paper flower making, and shopping amongst Mexican craft vendors.
11:15 am The Grupo de Danza Nuevo México of Philadelphia performs traditional Mexican folk dances.
11:45 am Performance from Marionette puppets from the Mexican Cultural Center
12:30 pm Performance from Philadelphia’s Son revoltura/Philly son jarocho
1:00 pm Guests can decorate sugar skulls at the afternoon craft station.
1:30 pm Second performance from Marionette puppets from the Mexican Cultural Center
2:30 pm Final performance, Radio Jarocho is joined by Son revoltura/Philly son jarocho
3:30 pm Judges announce the winners for best community altars, and guests in traditional Day of the Dead costumes are invited to join a procession to end the day.

Free with General Admission

The Mexican Cultural Center is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting understanding and awareness of the cultural and artistic diversity of Mexico and its influence in the Delaware Valley in the United States. Founded in 1994, the Center is a supporter of the increasing Mexican Community in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware and serves as a networking hub for those interested in Mexican Culture. The MCC is supported by contributions from corporations, individuals, memberships and self-generated revenue. For more information, visit

The Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, the Mexican Cultural Center, and regional community groups join the Museum to make the afternoon possible. The celebration, the first event in the Museum’s World Culture Day series, is made possible in part with generous support from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Telemundo, Visit Philly (Philly Te Ama) and Al Día News Media, are sponsors for the day.

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3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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