Carson City museum celebrates Dia de Los Muertos with events Nov. 5 and 6

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada State Museum, Carson City, invites the public to celebrate the traditional Mexican holiday of Dia de Los Muertos Nov. 5 and 6 at the museum.

An altar presentation will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 5, and will include music and traditional refreshments. Festivities continue on Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and include traditional crafts, music and dance. Members of the community can participate in creating a community altar, which memorializes loved ones who have died. A food truck will be behind the museum on Curry Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 6, and admission to the museum is free that day.

“We look forward to offering this event every year,” Myron Freedman, director of the Nevada Division of Museums and History, said. “It is a joint effort with Visit Carson City, the Carson City Downtown Business Association, Western Nevada College and many others that brings the community together to remember loved ones who have passed on, and it’s a great opportunity to check out the museum’s many exhibits.”

Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, traces its roots to the time of the Aztec people in Central America, but was later influenced by cultural and religious practices brought by the Spanish. Today, it is widely celebrated in Mexico and the American Southwest. Special exhibits, or altars, are set up as memorials to departed loved ones, and often contain items that were special to them. That may include a photo of the person, samples of their favorite foods, symbols of activities they enjoyed and bright yellow flowers. Pan de muerto, a special holiday bread, is abundantly displayed during the festival. Sugar skulls, or calavera, are decorated, and fancy paper cutouts, or papel picado, add color to homes, tables and altars during the holiday.

The museum is at 600 N. Carson St. in Carson City. Face coverings must be worn inside the museum by all visitors. Regular museum admission is $10 adults and free for members and children ages 17 and younger.

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The Nevada State Museum, Carson City engages diverse audiences in understanding and celebrating Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage. The museum is one of seven state museums that make up the Nevada Division of Museums and History.