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Originally published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 7:02 PM

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Celebrate the dead — and Mexican culture — at Seattle Center

Día de Muertos, Oct. 27-28, Seattle Center, Seattle.

Seattle Times staff

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Join a celebration this weekend honoring the history and culture of Mexico and remembering loved ones who've died. It's Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead): A Mexican Celebration to Remember Our Departed at Seattle Center.

The holiday combines centuries-old traditions of Mexico's indigenous peoples and the Spanish culture, keeping the history and culture of Mexico alive through remembrance of deceased loved ones and ancestors said to be nearest to the living at this time of year.

Everyone's invited to add to the community altar with pictures, poems and other offerings for departed loved ones, and to join in a Saturday evening candlelit musical procession to call out names of loved ones who've died.

Día de Muertos traditional dance instruction is open to all 6 p.m. Saturday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, part of music and dance performances throughout the weekend. Other features include a monumental sand painting (tapete de arena pintada) created by Mexican artist Isaac Hernandez, several display altars, art displays, films and food.

This year's celebration honors La Catrina, the iconic image created 100 years ago by Jose Posada to show that all are equal in the eyes of La Muerte (death) regardless of social class, with historical lectures at 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Skulls are a common symbol of the holiday, including sugar skulls as gifts for both the living and the dead. Children's hands-on activities include decorating sugar skulls and clay skulls, making paper skeletons and creating paper marigolds, the flower customarily used to decorate tombs and altars.

Other local celebrations include the Día de los Muertos Ofrenda (altar) exhibit opening and dinner Nov. 1 and the Ofrenda Exhibit Nov. 2-15 at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Ave. S., Seattle (elcentrodelaraza.wordpress.com); and the Day of the Dead Festival procession, performances and activities Nov. 2 at Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle (206-783-2244 or www.phinneycenter.org).

The details

Día de Muertos

Time: Noon-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday; procession 7 p.m. Saturday.

Cost: Free.

Location: Seattle Center, Seattle.

Getting there: Metro Transit, 206-553-3000 or tripplanner.kingcounty.gov; Sound Transit Link light-rail, 206-398-5000 or soundtransit.org; Seattle Center Monorail, 206-905-2620 or seattlemonorail.com.

More information: 206-684-7200 or www.tallermexicano.org or www.seattlecenter.com.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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