Hundreds gathered for the first ever Dia De Los Muertos Celebration at the historic Anaheim Cemetery.
The evening festivities began with a worship service lead by Father Arturo Ferreras from St. Matthew Ecumenical Catholic Church. After the service, he reminded everyone of the importance of keeping these traditions alive.
“We have to make these traditions part of the American culture,” Ferreras said,
“Keeping these beautiful traditions alive is the only hope Americans have for true salvation.”
After the service, the night came alive with a performance by Ballet Folklorico Donaji and Rythmo Mariachi Kids who performed on the foyer of the community mausoleum.
Complimentary traditional mexican sweet bread, coffee and drinks were available also kids were able to color and decorate skeleton mask.
Anaheim Cemetery will be celebrating the 150th anniversary next year.
Many hispanic families gather here every year on this day to pay their respect to their loved ones buried here.
Jim McComb, public relations director for the Orange County Cemetery District explained why it took so long for an event to take place.
“There are several other large Dia De Los Muertos events that occur in the area already,” McComb said, “but over the course of the last several years, we noticed more and more families gathering here, it was time we did something to pay respect to those families.”
Joseph Burns of Anaheim was excited when he learned of the celebration that would take place on the grounds.
“I have been coming here for years, my mother is buried here,” Burns said, “when I saw the Banner on the front, I wasn’t going to miss out on this. So I brought my family over.”
Families have been gathering throughout the day at the cemetery, many of them leaving only to return later to join in on the festivities.
Even during the festivities, you can see families gathered around their loved ones graves lighting candles and decorating their memorials.
The Orange County Cemetery District which owns and operates Anaheim Cemetery plans on hosting more events in the future including the upcoming 150th anniversary of the cemetery.