PILSEN— With giant puppet skeletons, ofrendas and hand-pushed carts, hundreds gathered to honor the memory of loved ones who have died with an evening processional Saturday in Pilsen.
The 40th annual Muertos de la Risa processional, presented by arts group ElevArte and SGA Youth and Family Services, brought colorful displays, Aztec dancers to Pilsen’s streets to close out the three-day Dia De Los Muertos holiday.
The event will kicked off in Dvorak Park with face painting and performances before an evening processional through the neighborhood.
Little Village resident Christina Herrera said the processional is a beautiful celebration of “Mexican heritage and culture” in Chicago.
“If you can’t see the celebration in Mexico City, you can still experience here in Pilsen,” Herrera said. “[We’re able to] pass on our heritage, culture and tradition to our children.”
Like Herrera, Jose Manuel, of Cicero, said the processional is a great way to pass on traditions to younger generations so their Mexican roots aren’t forgotten.
Pilsen resident Carmen Hernandez, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, said she has fallen in love with the processional tradition, one she’s celebrated the last four years. It’s a time for the neighborhood to unite and celebrate the “fun memories” of their loved ones who have passed — together.
Day of the Dead, the annual Mexican tradition that honors the deceased, begins on Halloween and ended Saturday. The days coincide with the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, but the holiday was born from ancient Aztec traditions.
Check out sights and scenes from Saturday night’s Muertos de la Risa in Pilsen below.
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