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Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in historic Lincoln

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A mariachi band performing in front of the old school house during a previous Dia de Los Muertos celebration. (Photo courtesy of Adele Karolik)

The fourth annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration comes to the historic village of Lincoln on Oct. 28 with a full range of fun events planned. Admission is free. The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lincoln is located about 70 miles from Roswell, or 12 miles east of Capitan on U.S. 380.

More on Dia de los Muertos 

Dia de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — is a holiday celebrated on Nov. 1. Although marked throughout Latin America, Dia de los Muertos is most strongly associated with Mexico, where the tradition originated.Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, minor holidays in the Catholic calendar. Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community.

On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.The most familiar symbol of Dia de los Muertos may be the calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls), which appear everywhere during the holiday: in candied sweets, as parade masks, as dolls. Calacas and calaveras are almost always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy clothes and entertaining situations.

Source: National Geographic website

Family activities include mask decorating, paper flower making and face painting by popular artists along with displays of ofrendas (altars) and live music. These free events will occur throughout Lincoln. A schedule of events will be posted at various merchants’ locations. There will be a raffle featuring prizes from local artists and merchants. Raffle tickets are available at participating merchants for $5. You need not be present to win.

Entertainment will feature La Ultima, a Spanish music trio from Carrizozo. Mariachi Unido from Carlsbad and the Los Galleros Mariachi Band from Lubbock, Texas. The musicians will be performing the entire day throughout Lincoln. The featured speaker is Cynthia Orozco, who will build an ofrenda (altar), for Juan Patron, the most prominent Hispanic in Lincoln, while discussing the history of the observance by indigenous people of Mexico, Europe and the U.S. Orozco has taught history and humanities at ENMU-Ruidoso for 20 years.

The story of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), observed in Mexico, other Latin American countries and the American southwest, is celebrated in many ways, including the decoration of cemeteries and the building of ofrendas (altars), to the deceased, decorated with flowers, food offerings, photos and mementos. This celebration expresses the idea that death is not to be feared but embraced as a part of life. Communities and families await the return of lost loved ones with food, music and fun.

Local eateries will provide food and drink specials.

Bring friends and family to the village of Lincoln for a fun-filled and historical day on Oct. 28. For more information, call 575-653-4045.