Halloween and Día de Muertos Events Loom

Numerous crows fly through a dark sky
Crows seen on and around a campus water tower in 2021. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

UC Davis is getting into the spirit for Halloween and Día de Muertos with a number of events hosted by various departments and organizations in the coming days.

Halloween: Oct. 31

Student rides bicycle in squirrel costume.
A student gets into the Halloween spirit, bike and all, in 2017. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

To celebrate Halloween, choose from a costume contest, a concert, a film screening and even a symposium on genetics. And if you still need to decorate around the house, Aggie pumpkin-carving stencils are available online, and Halloween goods purchased at select stores can benefit UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

Things to do

Costume and decor

Día de Muertos: Nov. 1 and 2

A Día de Muertos ofrenda
A Día de Muertos ofrenda at the Mondavi Center in 2019. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Next week (Nov. 1 and 2) also marks Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, the holiday in Mexico and elsewhere in the Latin American world that encourages people to pay respect to friends and family who have died. Events will be held on and off campus.

The Mondavi Center will host Lila Downs today (Oct. 24) for a sold out performance, “Dos Corazones: Día De Muertos.” The Mondavi Center calls Downs “one of the most influential and representative artists of Mexican music in Latin America” and highlights her activism in support of migrants, Indigenous people and more.

Also at the Mondavi Center, attendees and the campus community are encouraged to contribute to a community ofrenda, or altar, today through Oct. 31.

“Bring copies of photos of loved ones to place on the altar, and offerings of their favorite items,” the Mondavi Center says. The altar is located in the Yoche Dehe Grand Lobby and is open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, and during events.

That altar is created in partnership with the Sacramento-based Latino Center for Art & Culture. That organization is also one of the organizations working with Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer, or TANA, for a celebration from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Woodland. That event will feature multiple altars for offerings, as well as food vendors, crafts like ink block printing and face painting, live music and more.

Back on campus, the Center for Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success, or CCLASS, also has a community altar starting today at its office on the second floor of the Memorial Union. Anyone in the campus community — students, faculty and staff — can contribute items or write notes for loved ones, said Rodrigo Bonilla, director of the Chicanx Latinx Retention Initiative.

The center will also offer complimentary pan dulce, coffee and tea on Nov. 1. The center is open weekdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Media Resources

Cody Kitaura is the editor of Dateline UC Davis and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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