Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center, hosted the third Celebración de Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead Celebration) in LOVE Park, which featured cultural events, a monumental altar installation and community bike ride.
Día de Muertos is a popular Mexican holiday that honors loved ones that have passed. This celebration is a combination of traditions and bright colors, with its origins based on beliefs of indigenous communities of Central and South Mexico. Day of the Dead is traditionally commemorated on Nov. 1 and 2, when families and friends gather to create ornate altars, usually made up of at least three levels, with diverse elements on each level.
“We are thrilled to host the third Day of the Dead celebration in LOVE Park this year,” said Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell in a statement. “LOVE Park is the heart of the city. It’s a place where residents and visitors can enjoy special works of art that celebrate Philadelphia and our many cultures and traditions.”
“Our office is proud to support this authentic and mesmerizing display of Dia de Muertos at LOVE Park,” added Amy Eusebio, executive director of the Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We recognize, that as a welcoming city it is critically important that we celebrate and elevate the traditions of the many immigrants who have made Philadelphia their home.”
On Sunday, Oct. 30, cyclists pedaled through city streets during the Day of the Dead bike ride, a 3.5-mile bike excursion, where participants dressed up as Catrinas or Calaveras and decorated their bikes in honor of Day of the Dead.
The bike ride concluded at “Los nuestros,” an altar created by Mexican artist Ivonne Pinto García, which is on display at LOVE Park through Friday, Nov. 4. Pinto García’s altar explores the theme of transitions through multiple layers: the perspective of death, the advent of birth, and the struggle that comes when we transition from one phase of life to another.
“We are honored for the opportunity to share with residents of Philadelphia, one of our most ancient and important traditions: Day of the Dead,” said Consul of Mexico Carlos Obrador. “A central element to this holiday is the altar, which is a way of honoring our past loved ones. Collaboration in events like this is one of the many ways the City of Brotherly Love makes immigrants feel welcome and Mexico is delighted to be part of it.”