Every fall, throughout communities in Mexico and increasingly in the United States, a colorful celebration takes place. DĂ-a de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a unique observance deeply rooted in Hispanic tradition. The holiday focuses on the remembrance of loved ones and is founded in the belief that once a year the souls of the dearly departed can return to earth.

The Museum of South Texas History will hold a celebration for DĂ-a de los Muertos on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food, fun, exhibits and most importantly, a valuable learning experience await! Don't miss out! Visit the Valley's premiere DĂ-a de los Muertos celebration and see why the Museum of South Texas History is unlike any other.

The heart of any DĂ-a de los Muertos celebration is the building of altars. Ranging from simple to elaborate, these private altars are usually dedicated to a loved one, but not always. Elements of the altar incorporate personal items and photographs of the deceased and a variety of ofrendas or offerings such as marigold-like cempazĂșchitl flowers, prayer candles and the favorite foods and beverages of the dearly departed. Sugar skulls, calaveras or skeletons and papel picado are often included. No DĂ-a de los Muertos celebration would be complete without an altar display. More than 12 altars, built by members of the community, will be featured.

In addition, the Mexican Consulate of McAllen will create a traditional altar in MOSTHistory's Grand Lobby.

"The Museum of South Texas History has established a productive working relationship with the Consulate of Mexico in McAllen," says Miriam G. Medel Garcia, consul for economic and political affairs. "Currently, we are joining efforts towards a high-quality, genuine DĂ-a de los Muertos Celebration, with the participation of an artist of the State of Guanajuato and artisans from various states. This is only the beginning of a commitment to work together and bring Mexican culture and folklore to the people of the Valley."

This year's multifaceted event is sure to please the entire family. DĂ-a de los Muertos favorite, Pedro Garcia, will perform his one-man, bilingual play called The Life and Times of Juanito Gonzalez. Festivities for this special day also include The Deaths of Frida Kahlo dancers, La Joya High School's award-winning Mariachi Los Coyotes, DĂ-a de los Muertos artisans from Mexico and across South Texas, and children's activities.

For a complete listing of events or more information, call 956-383-6911 or visit www.mosthistory.org.