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Day of the Dead to be celebrated

Area residents this week will have the chance to take part in a festival with roots dating back to the Aztec Empire.

The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will be hosting its third Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, event with free, family-friendly activities open to public on Saturday Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dia de los Muertos is a holiday with origins in Southern Mexico dating to the Aztec empire. It is a holiday to remember, honor, and celebrate one’s ancestors recognizing that death is part of the life cycle. The modern holiday’s traditions are a unique blend of pre-Columbian and Catholic traditions that have spread across Mexico and beyond including mainstream media through avenues such as Disney’s “Coco.”

These practices bear similarities to Appalachian traditions such as “Decoration Day” as well as many of the Victorian era customs related to the dead practiced in our area.

This year’s event will be in the courtyard, with music, dancers, and raffles. Activities will be held in museum parking lot with food and craft vendors. The event itself is free but due to a lack of grant funding, museum admission cannot be waived this year.

According to the museum’s Executive Director Matt Edwards, “2019 inaugural event was far more successful than we could have imagined, and we’re excited to be bringing this event back to the community despite the obvious challenges.” Like many things this year, the event has been modified to follow COVID restriction guidelines.

“Ultimately, this program is about the community. It’s about building bridges. It’s an opportunity to help celebrate an important tradition for a fast-growing segment of our community and to introduce those traditions to everyone else” Edwards said.

This event is the product of collaborative efforts between the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, community partners and event sponsors, including Surry Medical Ministries Clinic, LAM Museum of Anthropology and the Women’s League of Mount Airy. Anyone with questions can contact Karen Nealis, the office manager at 336-786-4478 ext. 222 or



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