Dia de los Muertos: Milwaukee's 2023 celebrations kick off

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's Mexican Fiesta organizers kicked off Dia de los Muertos – or Day of the Dead – celebrations Wednesday, Nov. 1.

"It’s a celebration of life," said Tamara Olivas with the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation. "We cannot get any more excited to bring performers, and theater, and music and dance to this celebration."

Dia de los Muertos is one of the biggest Latino celebrations of the year. This year’s celebration is going to bring everyone on a cultural journey into what Dia de los Muertos is all about.

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"I think we associate death with sadness and mourning, but in reality this day is about all the beautiful memories they left, and we created together," Olivas said.

Historically, it’s a day in correlation with the Catholic holiday All Saints' Day, when people honor loved ones who have passed away. One of the biggest components of Dia de los Muertos is the altar, filled with colorful flowers, candles and pictures of lost loved ones.

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"You’re going to have water, you’re going to have salt. You’re going to have parts that blend our pre-Hispanic history and the nowadays," said Olivas. "We all have lost loved ones. If we have the opportunity and a day to consciously make the effort to celebrate their lives, I think we all can unite in this amazing celebration."

Dia de los Muertos celebrations are open to the public Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 2 from noon to 10 p.m.