Anthropology Club: Day of the Dead Events

Posted on 10/22/2013 6:30:55 PM

The Anthropology Club, in collaboration with other IUP organizations, will host the first annual Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) Festival at IUP. It is expected to be the most multicultural and collaborative event on campus for the Fall 2013 semester. Events include a lecture by Harold Morales, an altars exhibit in the University Museum and in the HUB, an art show, a parade, and a costume party and contest.

Día de los Muertos has been celebrated in Mexico for centuries and became popular in the U.S. beginning the 1970s, when altars (ofrendas) became opportunities for airing political concerns. The Day of the Dead is a time to remember loved ones who have passed away, but is also a platform for bringing attention to important social and educational issues. Every year, Día de los Muertos grows in popularity and is now widely celebrated in communities from California to New Jersey: on main streets; in universities, museums, and libraries; and in private homes.

Roster of Events:

October 28 – Chalk-on-the-Walk in the Oak Grove

  • Runs all week through November 1

October 28 – Lecture: “Day of the Dead: An Affirmation of Life”

  • By Harold Morales
  • 6:15 p.m. in Johnson Hall, room 247

October 28 – Art Show: “Calavera”

  • By the Student Art Association
  • Reception at 2:00 p.m. on November 1 in the Miller Gallery, second floor of Sprowls Hall.
  • Exhibit open 10:00 to 5:00 daily through November 2

October 31 – Exhibit in University Museum: “A Southern Mexico Ofrenda”

  • View a traditional southern Mexico home altar and ofrenda.
  • Exhibit will include photographs of Dia de los Muertos in Mexico; some photos were taken by IUP professors.
  • Runs through November 2, during the museum’s regular hours.

November 1 – Altars Exhibit

  • Susquehanna Room in the HUB. 
  • View altars by participating student organizations. Best altar wins a Viewer’s Choice Award.
  • The Department of Food and Nutrition will provide samples of traditional Mexican food. Listen to traditional Mexican music. Setup time for altars is 2:00–3:30 p.m.
  • Exhibit will be open from 3:30–10:00 p.m.

November 2 – Parade through the Oak Grove, beginning at Fisher Hall, ending at the HUB

  • Day of the Dead costume contest and party. Food, DJ, and dancing. People are encouraged to dress as Muertos and Catrinas, but all costumes are welcome.
  • Parade starts 5:30 p.m. Costume contest/party is from 6:00–8:00 p.m.

The Department of Communications Media will create a documentary of the first Day of the Dead Festival at IUP. Participating campus departments will be documented as they prepare for and participate in the festival.

For more information, contact Day of the Dead liaison Lisa McCann at, or Anthropology Club President Elye Schenk at

Department of Anthropology