In Ventura, the Day of the Dead Recalls What Matters

Featured Image by The Museum of Ventura County

by Visit Ventura


This year, like so many other things, Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) will be different. In years past Ventura hosted festivals, traditional dancers danced, and restaurants hosted parties. This year is different, yes, but these Ventura celebrations will be back.

As Miguel Rivera sings in “Coco”

“For even if I’m far away, I hold you in my heart. I sing a secret song to you, each night we are apart.”



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Okay, it’s a small stretch. But the point is, we should remember those gone from us regardless of the times, and the multi-day holiday of Dia de Los Muertos does precisely that; family and friends gathering to remember friends and family members who have died. Typically Dia de Los Muertos is a time of celebration rather than mourning. Which, when you think of the special people in your life, seems only right.

Image by the Museum of Ventura County


And here in Ventura, there is still opportunity to celebrate publicly. Recognizing the importance of the holiday, The Museum of Ventura County (110 East Main Street) has erected a Dia de Los Muertos Community Altar. You can view it through Tuesday, November 3rd from 10 am to 5 pm in the Museum’s Plaza. Please wear your mask (and if you’ve created an altar at home, and wish to share, the Museum encourages you to submit photos at

Yes, Dia de Los Muertos is filled with colorful costumes, skull-shaped masks (calacas), lovely food (pan de muerto, a sweet egg bread), and lovely traditions like decorating the graves of loved ones with ofrendas (altars). But most important to retain — the underlying premise(s) behind Dia de Los Muertos.

Pixar’s “Coco” was a simple, not so simple film, and like so many simple, not so simple things “Coco” was deft in both touching us and teaching us about the things that matter. Watching Miguel (if you haven’t seen “Coco,” remedy that) adventure through the Land of the Dead, we learn lessons of love, family, and the importance of keeping loved ones forever in our hearts. Valuable lessons that extend far beyond Dia de Los Muertos.





Image by The Museum of Ventura County

As Coco Rivera so wisely points out; “When there’s no one left in the living world who remembers you, you disappear from this world. We call it the Final Death.”

Why would we let that happen?

So in honor of Dia de Los Muertos and those you still love (because we haven’t let them go) take a quiet (or not so quiet, depending on who you are remembering) moment to reflect on how lucky you have been to have your moments with those who still live in your heart.



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