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The Dearly Departed: Dia de los Muertos Descends on Hollywood

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Day of the Dead on Saturday at Hollywood Forever (Image: ladayofthedead.com)
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- by Adrienne Dorsey / Special to LAist.

Day of the Dead comes early this year, with Hollywood Forever hosting the 12th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration this Saturday. Traditionally celebrated in Mexico on the two days after Halloween, Hollywood Forever’s festivities will include altars honoring the dead, ancestral processions, traditional Mexican cuisine, and performances by international singers Astrid Hadad (best known as “La Tequilera”) and Ruben Albarran of Café Tacuba. A macabre event for the whole family, children will learn more about the Mexican national holiday’s history through storytelling, facepainting, dancing, and altar-making.

Other festivities include the "The Lake of Meditation and Rituals" featuring a multicultural lineup of Zen chanting, Meditative Ragas from India, a Mayan ceremony, "The Awakening of the Souls," and Aztec Rituals, as well as contests awarding a $3,000 prize for “Best Altar” and $500 for the “Most Original Calavera” attire. An art exhibition at the Cathedral Mausoleum will feature original works of art throughout the corridors where Rudolph Valentino is entombed.

At 2:45 pm, the ancestral procession will begin, presenting distinctive roots of the Mayan world with "Transition of the Souls," a rare, never before seen ritual that will literally welcome the soul of Mayan God Chac Mool to enjoy the food, music, and reconcile with the living.

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Dia de los Muertos is from noon to midnight on Saturday at Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. Admission is $10, with children under 6 years free.