warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Dia De Los Muertos On Olvera Street

Shoko Oda |
November 2, 2013 | 11:16 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Los Angeles' famous Olvera Street became a center of celebration during the days leading up to Dia de los Muertos, known in the U.S. as Day of the Dead. 

Typically celebrated on Nov. 1st and 2nd, the holiday is celebrated among Latin American countries, yet many associate the holiday with Mexico, where it is marked as a traditional holiday. 

The celebration dates back to ancient times when the indigenous people of Mexico practiced rituals mocking death. Despite the arrival of Spanish Conquistadors, the rituals continued to be practiced. The mixture of Catholic ideas and Aztec rituals eventually established Dia de los Muertos. Today, the holiday celebrates and honors beloved ancestors; it is believed that during the celebration, the dead will return to join the living temporarily.  

Located right by the Union Station, Olvera Street continues to remain one of the most culturally iconic location of Downtown Los Angeles. The street was created in 1930 to retain and preserve the customs and trades of early California. The narrow, winding streets with an open market and small vendors continue to attract tourists and locals to this day. During the week leading up to Dia de los Muertos, Olvera Street becomes a center of festivities. Streets are vibrantly with papel picado (cut-out paper banners) and elaborate ofrendas (alters for the dead) as visitors enjoy music, performances, and cuisine.

Reach Staff Reporter Shoko Oda here



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.