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Living Dead

Dia de los Muertos shows season's serious side

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This weekend isn't all Halloween candy corn and monster mashes; it's also Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. Celebrated throughout Mexico, this is a holiday of remembrance, when families and communities honor their loved ones who've died and create festive art and altars. In the North Bay, several events carry on the tradition.

In Santa Rosa, the History Museum of Sonoma County is running a Día de los Muertos Altars exhibition and hosting two events this week. On Thursday, Oct. 27, Mexico City native Laura Larqué, now a history professor at Santa Rosa Junior College, presents an evening talk on the ancient traditions of life and death in the Mexican culture and the view in Mesoamerica that death is only one state of an infinite life cycle. On Saturday, Oct. 29, the museum opens up for a family day with sugar skulls, face painting and more activities for all ages, running from 2pm to 4pm. (425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa; 707.579.1500.)

In Napa, the Napa Valley Latino Heritage Committee hosts a weekend celebration and altar exhibit at Harvest Middle School. Saturday's events include music and dancing, crafts and food from noon to 6pm. Sunday is a more reverential event, with quiet viewings of the 20 altars from noon to 4:30pm. (2449 Old Sonoma Road, Napa; 707.337.2970.)

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