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Where to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Portland

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is not a somber occasion but rather a celebration of life featuring colorful festivities, music, and food.

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A Día de los Muertos ofrenda in Mexico.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday traditionally observed Nov. 1-2. During this time, families and friends make ofrendas (altars) to honor ancestors and loved ones who have died.

Here are some ways to get involved in Portland.

Día de los Muertos at Portland Mercado | Wednesday, Nov. 1-Thursday, Nov. 2 | 4-8 p.m. | Portland Mercado, 7238 SE Foster Rd. | Free | Visitors can add their loved ones’ pictures to a community altar, listen to live music, sip on special beverages, shop local vendors, and more.

“Las Adelitas” | Thursday, Nov. 2-Sunday, Nov. 5 | Times vary | Milagro Theatre, 525 SE Stark St. | $22-$30 | This year, Portland’s “longest-running Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration” features an original play with folkloric dance and music, as well as workshops on making sugar skulls and paper flowers for home altars.

Dia de los Muertos Celebracion | Thursday, Nov. 2 | 4-7 p.m. | Finley-Sunset Hills Mortuary & Sunset Hills Memorial Park, 6801 SW Sunset Hwy. | Free | All are invited to enjoy traditional dance, food, crafts, games, and more.

A dia de los muertos cocktail sits in front of candles, painted skulls, and marigolds.

The Calabaza Margarita is garnished with marigolds, a flower whose fragrance is said to attract the souls of the dead to the altars prepared for them.

Photo courtesy of The Matador

Looking for some festive cocktails? The Matador, a chain of Mexican restaurants with a few locations in Portland, is serving these three drinks through Thursday, Nov. 2:

  • Calabaza Margarita: Espolón blanco, triple sec, pumpkin, lime, pineapple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and marigold with a pepita, chile, salt, and avocado leaf rim
  • Autumn Twilight: Espolón Reposado, Ancho Reyes, Nixta Licor de Elote, Campari, and marigold
  • Harvest Mule: Montelobos Joven Mezcal, lime, ginger, apple, cardamom, orange, and allspice