Dia de los Muertos Events Abound in the Treasure Valley 

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While some brace themselves against hordes of trick-or-treaters, others are already prepping elaborate altars and food for a different fall event—Dia de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday to memorialize the passing of loved ones.

Here are some of the local celebrations planned this year around the holiday, which takes place on the first two days of November.

   Thursday, Nov. 1:
  • The Basque Market (608 W. Grove St.) will serve themed pintxos (tapas) at 5 p.m., paella at 6 p.m. and $2 Mazama draft beers throughout the night.

  • Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (1000 W Myrtle St.) will host a free celebration from 4-9 p.m. in partnership with The Consulate of Mexico. Along with Wingtip Press, JUMP will offer a procession of the art from its Dia de los Muertos Steamroller Print Project, and artwork from students from eight collaborating schools will accompany extravagant altars. The main event will consist of performances, including a telling of The Legend of La Llorona, the Mariachi band Alma de Mexico, and several performances from children’s dance companies.

    Friday, Nov. 2:

  • The Friends of Jesus Urquides will gather at 4 p.m. at the Jesus Urquides memorial, which is near the edge of downtown Boise at the intersection of Main and First streets. The group will then walk to Pioneer cemetery (460 E. Warm Springs Ave.), where it will discuss the lives of the Mexican cowboys, miners and mule packers who lived in the Spanish village that sat on the cemetery grounds during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Along with stories of the legendary Spanish pioneers, there will be corrido music (Mexican ballads), pan de muertos (bread of the dead) and Mexican hot chocolate.

  • Concurrently from 4-6 p.m. at the Meridian Public Library (1326 W Cherry Ln.), Monique Michel-Duarte, the director of education for Caldwell Fine Arts, will teach about the history oft Dia de los Muertos. The library will hold story time, face painting, a display of entries to its skull coloring contest and classes on making sugar skulls from assorted foods like marshmallows. Horchata (a creamy Mexican drink made from rice, milk and spices), tamales, pan de muertos, and concha (Mexican sweet bread) will be provided.
As National Geographic writer Logan Ward put it in an article about Dia de los Muertos, "The rituals are rife with symbolic meaning. The more you understand about this feast for the senses, the more you will appreciate it." Now's your chance.
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