[KHTS] – Hundreds of Santa Clarita residents gathered at Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary Saturday afternoon for the second annual celebration of Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Dia De Los Muertos is a three-day traditional Latin-American holiday observed on Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in which families gather to honor their deceased loved ones.
“It has to do with recognizing and honoring those that have passed,” said Bill Miranda, a board member of the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce. “It’s where families come to the cemetery and create altars, honor and pay tribute to relatives. (Families) bring to them some of the things that those who have passed enjoyed in their lifetime.”
Held at Eternal Valley, the second annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration was held from 2 – 9 p.m.
The celebration brought food and vendors to the street surrounding the Chapel of the Hill in Eternal Valley. The event also had a main stage that offered performances of traditional Latin-American entertainment.
“Lots of dancers, lots of music, ancient music, medieval music, modern music, it’s all gonna be exhibited here,” Miranda said.
Hosted by internationally known star, Setareh Khatibi, the main stage featured many traditional entertainers.
“Last year I danced Azteca and Ballet Folklorico,” said Christian Campbell, a teen model for the event. “Azteca is dancing how the Aztec did, it uses the same beats. Ballet Folklorico is another old kind of dance, it was actually perfected by a Russian Ballerina.”
The event also featured storytime for children, an art gallery featuring art based on the holiday and displays of skulls all around the event.
At 4 p.m., Father Norm gave a prayer service in the chapel for attendees of the event, according to the program guide.
The shrines set up near the stage offered families a chance to honor their loved ones, by bringing candles and other wares to the picture of the deceased.
“Today is just another day we get to have fun with our family,” Christian said. “Ones we don’t get to see anymore, it’s another way we can have a little party… everything they would have wanted.”