Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Photo Courtesy American Museum of Natural History
Event Date: 
Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 11:00am to 5:00pm
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Immerse yourself in the traditions of Día de Muertos in this family-friendly, full-day festival featuring altars dedicated to extinct animal species, performances by Mexican folk musicians and dance troupes, hands-on artisanal and scientific workshops, and a craft marketplace.


  • Cetilizti Nauhcampa Quetzalcóatl en Ixachitlán—Traditional pre-Hispanic dance ceremony dedicated to Day of the Dead.
  • Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York—The traditional music and dance festival of Guelaguetza takes place in Oaxaca every year. Representative of specific groups, these colorful and festive choreographies are a celebration of indigenous identity.
  • Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino—A classic set with New York’s Mariachi Tapatio.

Exploration Stations:

  • Masks and Trinkets—Design your own Día de Muertos mask, mini-altars, and other takeaways at this colorful activity zone for all ages.
  • Papel Picado—Learn the legendary artform of Papel Picado, cutting imagery into colorful paper banners.
  • Storytime with NYPL—Friends from the New York Public Library bring some of the vibrant stories about Día de Muertos, Mexican culture, and animal conservation to  younger visitors.
  • Pan de muerto—Enrique Olvera of Cosme and Atla, presents the tradition of Pan de Muerto. Learn about the methods of manufacturing, the messages behind the intricate designs, and taste the authentic recipe of this traditional dessert.
  • Pre-Hispanic Encounter—Learn about the Museum’s collection of Zapotec artifacts and traditional funerary urns, used to honor ancestors of the pre-Hispanic cultures that inhabited the State of Oaxaca and beyond.
  • The Science of Skulls—How do scientists use fossil skulls to piece together the human family tree? Examine fossil skull casts to learn about our extinct hominin relatives.
  • Center of Biodiversity and Conservation—The CBC integrates the Museum’s science, collections, and technology to combat real-world conservation problems and solutions. Meet conservation scientists and learn how they—and you—can work to protecting our planet’s biodiversity.

​​​​​​​Artisanal Demonstrations:

  • Cocina Tradicional—Expert artisanal chef Celia Florían presents ingredients endemic to Oaxaca, and insight into the state’s rich flavorful history.
  • Barro Negro—The art of black clay pottery as practiced by Barro Negro master Omar Fabian
  • Alebrijes and Papier-Mâchè—Colorful, whimsical creatures sculpted in a fragile, yet precise method. Led by artist Jacobo Ángeles.
  • Textile—Intricate Oaxacan weaving, passed on from generation to generation, presented here by la maestra Elsa Abigail Mendoza.

El Mercado:

Over 30 artisans from Mexico and the U.S. present their wares at this all-day Mexican Marketplace.

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York , NY 40° 46' 55.3152" N, 73° 58' 18.1884" W
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