University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Day of the Dead

Saturday 28 October 2017
11:00AM - 4:00PM
Penn Museum

Kids with faces painted

The Consulate of Mexico 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, storytelling, and arts and crafts. The centerpiece of the afternoon is a traditional Day of the Dead altar created by volunteers from the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center, built just for the celebration, with dedications to those who died placed upon the ofrenda (altar). Costumed guests under 12 receive half-price admission to the celebration. 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!

Free with General Admission.

Schedule for the Day

Beginning at 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. Beginning at 1:00 pm, guests can decorate sugar skulls at an afternoon craft station. Food is very much a part of Day of the Dead celebrations, and guests may sample traditional sweet “pan de muerto” buns and spicy hot chocolate, Maya-style, while supplies last.

At 11:20 am, Ollin Papalotl Group performs traditional Aztec dances. Marionette puppets from the Mexican Cultural Center perform twice: at 12:00pm show, and again at 1:40 pm.

The Penn Museum’s Mexico and Central America gallery features art and artifacts from the ancient Maya and other pre-Hispanic cultures of the region, and Museum Curator Simon Martin, at work on a reinstallation of the gallery to open in November 2018, offers a tour at 12:30 pm

The Ballet Folkorico Yaretzi performs traditional Mexican folk dances at 1:00 pm, and join Radio Jaracho & Zenen Zeferino for “The skeletons come to the fandango!”—a rousing final set at 2:15 pm.

Beginning at 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.


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