Dia de los Muertos at the California Science Center

As part of the closing phase of the “Mummies of the World” exhibition, the California Science Center plans to offer a special Dia de los Muertos display on Nov.1 and 2. The “Day of the Dead” is a traditional holiday celebrated in Mexico on Nov.2, and focuses on praying for loved ones who have passed away.

The California Science Center Dia de los Muertos display will feature the traditions and culture of the indigenous people of Latin America. According to a press release, the public is invited to bring non-returnable photographs of departed loved ones that will become part of the display which is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

The History of Dia de los Muertos, courtesy of the California Science Center:

Despite the sound of the name, Dia de los Muertos is a festive, centuries-old holiday rooted in Mexican tradition, predating the arrival of the Spanish to the Americas. The holiday memorializes the lives of family and loved ones who have gone before us. In this custom, it is important to maintain good relations with the dead because it is believed it is they who intercede and bring good fortune to the living. The display will feature traditional Mexican folk art, artifacts, flowers, pan de muerto (“bread of the dead”), and photos of the departed. Guests will also find the Libro de Recuerdos (“memory book”) where they may leave heart-felt messages for the dead.

“Mummies of the World bridges the gap between the past and present through science, which increases our knowledge of the historical and cultural record around the world,” said William Harris, Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing, California Science Center Foundation. “Dia de los Muertos bridges the past and present in a very different way through culture and family traditions.”

Photographs donated for the Dia de los Muertos display should be small to mid-sized, placed in a self-standing frame and only feature the departed loved-one. Photos and frames will not be returned.

The Dia de los Muertos display will be available for free public viewing November 1-2, 2010. To see the Mummies of the World exhibition, tickets are required and can be purchased in advance at http://www.califoriasciencecenter.org.  For more information, visit http://www.mummiesoftheworld.com.

Mummies of the World makes its Midwest debut at the Milwaukee Public Museum on December 17, 2010.