Day of the Dead honors the departed

EUGENE, Ore. - The Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that celebrates and welcomes the souls of those who have passed, is Nov. 1 and 2, and there are several places in town offering community festivals.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art opens its doors for four nights of dance, poetry, art, crafts and live music to honor the return of spirits.

The celebration takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 29, Wednesday, Oct. 30, Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2. The free event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"At the event we get about 150 to 200 people," said Debbie Williamson Smith with the musuem. "Each night has different age groups. Saturday night we expect a lot more University students to attend, but it varies. It is a very family oriented event."

Participants will also be able to see two displays of artwork celebrating the 100th anniversary of Jos Guadalupe Posada's death, on display through Dec. 15.

"The art exhibits are beautiful. It is a nice reminder of what the holiday is really about," Williamson Smith said.

Also teaming up to celebrate are Eugene Arte Latino and Downtown Languages. At the event on Wednesday, Oct. 30, multiple offerings, called ofrendas in Spanish, were created for returning souls and exhibited.

Or you can head to the Maude Kerns Art Center and see their 20th annual Day of the Dead exhibit.

The free art exhibit runs from Oct. 18 to Nov. 8. On display are the works of 25 artists from three states.

"We have eight altars," Publicity Coordinator Marsha Shankman said. "One is a community altar. That is where people can add little note cards and messages to members of their lives who have passed."