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A girl looks at a Día de los Muertos altar at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Over the last couple of weeks, the Sherman Heights Community Center has hosted several events in honor of Diá de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

The holiday, which runs from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 every year, celebrates the lives of those who have passed away. Families build altars with photos of their loved ones decorated with candles, sugar skulls, marigold flowers and food. It is a beloved tradition in Mexican culture.

At the community center, different local groups and organizations set up their own altars, but residents can also contribute by adding photos or personal notes to a community altar displayed at the space.

“Honoring the tradition year after year and having the space to create altars is very meaningful for people,” said Daniela Kelly, executive director of the Sherman Heights Community Center.

The center began hosting its Diá de Los Muertos celebration in 1994 and has since grown to include a number of events such as craft workshops, food tasting and more.

I attended Tuesday’s Muertos Candlelight Procession hosted by the community center and visited some of the altars displayed by residents outside of their homes.

A Día de los Muertos altar at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
A Día de los Muertos altar at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Dancers with Calpulli Mexihca perform Aztec indigenous dances at the Día de los Muertos celebration at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Marigold flowers displayed near an altar at the Día de los Muertos celebration in the Sherman Heights Community Center on Nov. 2, 2021. According to tradition, the scent of these flowers is said to lead souls back to their family’s home. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Marigold flowers displayed near an altar at the Día de los Muertos celebration in the Sherman Heights Community Center on Nov. 2, 2021. According to tradition, the scent of these flowers is said to lead souls back to their family’s home. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
A visitor leaves a note to a loved one at the community altar at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
A Day of the Dead altar at a home in Logan Heights on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
A Day of the Dead altar at Mixed Grounds Coffee Shop on Imperial Avenue on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
A Day of the Dead altar at a home in Sherman Heights on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
A Day of the Dead altar at a home in Logan Heights on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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