End of October.
|faces painted for the Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos festival|
in San Antonio, Texas
No other city in the U.S. observes this Mexican holiday quite like San Antonio. Observed annually here at the end of October, the traditional Day of the Dead Mexican holiday celebrating deceased loved ones dates back to pre-Columbian times. Here, the Dia de los Muertos celebration honoring the dead is over the top. Gifts to the deceased associated with the holiday are prevalent throughout the city, including marigolds, incense, and candles. Also found in various places, including Pearl, are elaborate altars honoring those who have passed--created new each year by local artists--plus festivities including live music, face-painting, and Mexican cuisine.
Many events are free, including the biggest event, La Villita, which is set right off the River Walk. It features the largest open-air community altar exhibition in the city, to which people can contribute photos for display. This event includes traditional mariachi musicians, Folklorico dancers, and a parade featuring puppets and stilt-walkers. New in 2019, a Day of the Dead River Parade featured a colorful parade of catrinas on the river.
2020 pandemic update: This year a virtual festival will be held on October 31 and November 1.