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Dia de los Muertos celebration in Denver is filled with history and tradition

Denver's longest running celebration started in 1985
Dia de los Muertos
Posted at 8:57 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 01:43:44-04

DENVER — Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of both life and death, as well as a chance to remember loved ones who have passed on.

For Ana Chavez, her altar, like many years before, is dedicated to her son who died more than 25 years ago.

"It's been a celebration of our people for thousands of years and actually is a tradition that came from the Aztec people. It got incorporated with the Spanish tradition, which is Dia de los Muertos," Chavez said.

On altars, or altares, families will place pictures of their loved ones who have passed on, along with their favorite foods and meaningful offerings.

"So, if you have them on your altar, they’re living within us. They're coming to the next generation," Chavez said.

Along with the altars and ofrendas, sometimes come ceremonial dances, which are followed by a procession.

"The dancing is calling our ancestors to be with us," said Rudy Gonzales, the executive director of Servicios de la Raza.

Gonzales says the Dia de los Muertos celebration at La Raza Park started in 1985.

"For me, it is a day that we reassert our heritage," Gonzales said.

It's a heritage that won’t be forgotten by Chavez and her family.

"It will stop for me when I am part of the tradition, so it will never stop," Chavez said. "This is our culture. This is our history."