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Dia de los Muertos @ Self Help Graphics

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Sunday, November 3rd, Self Help Graphics in East LA held one of Los Angeles' most entertaining and visually exciting Dia de los Muertos festivals. It could even be argued that Self Help, which started out in 1970, was instrumental in reviving the once-obscure holiday of Dia de los Muertos. This year was their 35th annual festival.

Self Help Graphics & Art began celebrating Day of the Dead on November 2, 1972. Two artists met in the Evergreen Cemetery, located twelve blocks from the art center in East Los Angeles on Cesar Chavez Avenue (formerly Brooklyn Ave) to celebrate and honor the dead, as their ancestors in Mexico had centuries before. - from the Self-Help website

Always free, and always raging, this year's festival was a huge success. In addition to a procession up Cesar E. Chavez Blvd from Cinco Puntos, calaca makeup, gallery exhibits, food, mariachis, and altars, the festival hosted DJs and eight live bands. A few highlights were ska-influenced Malafacha, the gentle folk music of Caguama, and Domingo Siete who alternately lulled and rocked into the night.