Even in the rain, Oakland is going to shine. The day started off with pouring rain, but that did not stop la gente from coming to the 21st Annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration in the Fruitvale District. Vendors come as early as 6am to set up. More than 50 Aztec dancers, dressed in traditional outfits, danced, prayed and laughed harder than the showers fell from above. The Aztec dancers delighted festivalgoers, who created a large circle around them. This energy set the stage for the rest of the day. Just as the dancers were wrapping up, the sun cleared the sky – a good omen. Thousands of people came to enjoy the live music, traditional food and art, altar installations and pay homage to recent and past ancestors. Many people attending Dia De Los Muertos this year wore t-shirts and had banners with slogans like “protect our water” or “No DAPL,” while others wore commemorative shirts of young black and brown youth murdered by the police. The message was clear as day, as we remember our ancestors, let our actions today be in favor of the generations to come.
Words and Pictures by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi