For Immediate Release
Two Day of the Dead Events: Twice the Fun!
(Cambridge, October 4, 2010) The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Consulate General of Mexico present two events on Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) November 2, 2010.
The Family Event from 3:00 to 5:00 PM will feature traditional Mexican dance performances, the Oaxacan woodcarvers Dancing Chickens, craft activities including papel picado (colorful Mexican paper decorations), calaca masks (decorating skull masks in the Day of the Dead-style), paper marigolds (making distinctive Day of the Dead decorations), and the popular Sugar Skull Workshops (decorating traditional sugar skulls). Then relax with the kids at the Cambridge Public Library story corner. Admission is free with regular Museum admission. No tickets or reservations are required. Sugar skull workshops are an additional $5.00/skull. For further information, contact the Education Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-495-3216.
The Fiesta from 6:00 to 8:30 PM will feature live Mexican Son music by La Tuza. Visitors can also taste some pan de muerto (bread of the dead), sip hot chocolate, and much more. Open from November 1 –30 in the gallery is the Peabody’s annual temporary Day of the Dead altar where visitors can honor departed loved ones with written messages. Admission to the Fiesta is free, and tickets are required. Tickets are available starting October 12 at www.peabody.harvard.edu or by stopping by the Peabody Museum Front Desk. Call the Front Desk at 617-496-1027 to check availability, as tickets are limited.
Prizes will be awarded for the best Catrina costume. Created by Mexican engraver and illustrator José Guadalupe Posada in 1913, Calavera Catrina (elegant skeleton, shown right) is a zinc etching and iconic image of the Mexican Day of the Dead. Posada (1852–1913) often used his illustrations and engraving of skeletons to mock the upper classes and social and political injustice. La Catrina is a high-society lady wearing all her finery and her signature, large, fancy hat. She is a symbol of the rich and fashionable who despite their pretensions to importance are just as susceptible to death as the rest of us.
The Fiesta is sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University; the Consulate General of Mexico in Boston; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico; Cuauhtemoc Brewery (Tecate and Sol); Nomad; Olé Mexican Grill; José's Mexican Restaurant; Casa Romero (Boston); Tú y Yo Mexican Cuisine (Needham); Tú y Yo Mexican Fonda (Somerville); and Cambridge Public Library.
Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos
Originating with the Aztecs, the Mexican Day of the Dead is a unique blend of Mesoamerican and Christian rituals. The holiday is celebrated on November 1st, All Saints’ Day, usually dedicated to children; and November 2nd, All Souls’ Day. Traditions vary from region to region, but generally families gather at cemeteries to tend and decorate the graves of their departed loved ones, remember them by telling stories, eating their favorite foods, and dancing in their honor. Many families build altars at home, decorated with flowers and food, especially pan de muerto, “bread of the dead.” A festive and social occasion, the holiday welcomes the return of those who have died and recognizes the human cycle of life and death.
About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.
Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: www.peabody.harvard.edu.