Day of the Dead Events in Toronto
Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos as it is known in Spanish is observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other latino cultures. While it's not a Halloween event per se, it does occur around the same time and features many of the same trappings (skulls, colouurful outfits, parades, etc.)
During Day of the Dead, revelers celebrate friends and family members who have passed on by building altars and adorning them with colorful paper flowers (typically marigolds), grinning skeletons and candles, and favourite foods and beverages of the departed. It's a really joyful way to honour the deceased without upsetting the kids.
Day of the Dead technically takes place on November 1 and 2 to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day, however many events are spread out throughout early November.
Here are events to celebrate Day of the Dead with kids in Toronto, which are totally FREE.
Day of the Dead at Evergreen Brick Works
Dia de los Meurtos (Day of the Dead)
Evergreen Brick Works
550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto , ON
Sunday, November 3 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Learn, taste, experience, and personalize Mexican cultural traditions. Not only see how this event is traditionally celebrated, but learn about your role in the Mayan calendar and how you can honour the memory of your own past loved ones. All day family-friendly activities to celebrate this event will include dance, live music, paper crafts, calavera (skull) face painting, and chocolate and clay workshops. More info.
Harbourfront Centre’s annual Day of the Dead/Dìa de los Muertos Festival
Day of the Dead Festival
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON
November 9 and 10, 2013, Noon to 6:00 pm
Celebrate the lives of the departed at Harbourfront Centre’s annual Day of the Dead/Dìa de los Muertos Festival, a two-day festival that offers patrons an opportunity to explore celebrations from Mexico, and other areas of Latin America, with handcrafted ofrendas (altars), concerts, film, family activities, and more. In addition to the free festivities inside, the public is invited to celebrate the legacy of lost loved ones with a large outdoor ofrenda (altar) in Ontario Square. Traditionally, marigold flowers are placed on ofrenda’s to honour the departed. Throughout the festival, families can make beautiful paper marigolds or leave a message to passed loved ones on a pre-made maple leaf. Family activities include Marigold Making, Day of the Dead Mask Making, Dance for the Dead, Workshop for Kids, Papel Picado Making, and Storytelling. More info.
Day of the Dead Celebration at Artscape Wychwood Barns
Day of the Dead Celebration
Artscape Wychwood Barns
601 Christie Street, Toronto, ON
Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm
Musicians, Aztec dancers, traditional food, crafts, visual artists, and actors will fill this event. The celebration of the Day of the Dead dates back to pre-hispanic times were the ancient culture reflects humanity's fascination with the unknown and the intangible. Today we inherit a tradition based in rituals, ceremonies, altars, food, dances, music, poems, and much more. Bring a flower of your choice and attach the name of a beloved one that has passed and placed it on the altar! More info.
Day of the Dead Festival at Clarington Museum - Mask made by local art student.
Day of the Dead Festival
62 Temperance Street, Bowmanville, ON
November 2 - 11:00am to 3:00pm
Join us at the Sarah Jane Williams Heritage Centre on Saturday November 2nd from 11am- 3pm for our Day of the Dead Celebrations. Stay for the entire event or just drop in. Explore our collection of Mexican toys, make paper marigolds, taste the traditional pan de muerto, see beautiful Calacas, clay characters, and an Ofrenda created by local High School students, and take home traditional sugar skulls. More info.
Please post below if you know of any other Day of the Dead Celebrations taking place in and around Toronto...