Talented dancers, wonderful musicians and extravagant costumes will all be present at the North Lamar Central Market Dia de los Muertos celebration on Saturday, Nov. 4. Every year, Central Market holds their Dia de los Muertos celebration for the Austin community with about 100 dancers and musicians from Austin Samba, the largest Samba group in the U.S.
“Our performance at Central Market for Dia de los Muertos has become a tradition for us and a big family tradition for others,” says Lee Clippard, Director of Austin Samba. “People coming to the show can expect a procession, giant puppets, soul-shaking drumming and beautiful dancing from Brazil, and everything usually ends with a dance party,” Clippard states.
In addition to the performance, attendees can expect to see skull masks and face painting to partner with the traditional costumes. Attendees will also be able to purchase food and drinks, provided by Central Market. There is also a playground so that children can play before and after the performance. The performance will be broken up into two sets, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and 8 to 9 p.m.
Astute readers may wonder why a Samba club would want to participate in a Mexican tradition, since Samba is traditionally a dance associated with Brazil.
“Dia de los Muertos is a beautiful Mexican tradition where family and friends gather to celebrate life by honoring loved ones who have died,” Clippard says. “Its origins are in southern Mexico, but it is now celebrated across Mexico and other parts of Latin America as well as people in the U.S.”
Countries like Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, El Salvador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador all celebrate Dia de los Muertos–some on November 1 and others on November 2–with similar traditions.
Central Market looks forward to hosting this event for the public and to participate in such a rich cultural tradition. “This is one of the largest events we have each year, and always draws a huge crowd of enthusiastic participants,” says Will Moghanloo, Music and Events Director of Central Market in Austin.
In addition to lively dancing, Central Market will also have several booths scattered around the event, with things like puppeteers and other activities that will allow people to learn more about the holiday. It is a free event and open to the public, but bring a few bucks to ensure that you can buy some of the delicious Central Market food and drinks.
For more information, visit austindayofthedead.com.