From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the long and important history of Latin Americans in North America. While we’re approaching the end of that celebration, just two weeks after Hispanic Heritage Month concludes, Dia de los Muertos begins. Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the reunion of human spirits with their families for a day of festivities. The festivities take place every year, starting at midnight on Halloween, when the gates of heaven open and the spirits of children are reunited with their families, and ends on Nov. 2 when the adult spirits come down and celebrate with their families.
There are still plenty of upcoming events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Dia de los Muertos:
Hispanic Heritage Month BBQ & Game Day
Oct. 9, 10 a.m.
VIP Foundation and MIGO Productions will host their very first Hispanic Heritage Month BBQ at Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria. The event will feature a potluck-style barbecue, an eating contest, volleyball and live music by DJs Suelto, Eli and Machado. Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance online, and you should bring a side dish to share. Beer and wine are the only alcohol permitted.
2016 Latino American Festival
Oct. 9, 1 p.m.
Arlington Mill Community Center celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a day of music, authentic Latin food and games for kids. The event will include a live Mexican-inspired painting demonstration by Arlington’s David Amoroso. D.C.-based folk-rock band Elena & Los Fulanos will also put on a show demonstrating their fusion of folk, Americana and Latin rock.
Second Thursday Art Night: Day of the Dead
Oct. 13, 6 p.m.
Enjoy live music, food and gallery receptions at The Torpedo Factory’s on Oct. 13. Take a walk through the open gallery, interact with artists influenced by Day of the Dead and create your own Dia de los Muertos-inspired art.
The Havana Cuba All-Stars: Cuban Nights
Oct. 14 & 15, 8 p.m.
Prominent Cuban musicians The Havana Cuba All-Stars bring their rich musical heritage and culture to the U.S. for the first time in their debut American tour. The group’s visit to America celebrates the new open travel relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The shows will take place at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas and GMU’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax.
Deportation of Innocence at the Immigration Film Fest
Oct. 20-23, times vary
Deportation of Innocence tells the story of a man who had to leave his children behind after he was deported back to Mexico. The documentary explores and challenges the immigration system laws and its impact on American-born children who have to enter the foster system when their parents have to return to their home country. Deportation of Innocence is just one of many films at this year’s Immigration Film Fest, which will be held across D.C.
Pepita Cantina’s Day of the Dead Halloween Party
Oct. 31, 5 p.m.
After taking your kids out trick-or-treating, head over to Pepita Cantina in Arlington. Enjoy margaritas, sugar skulls and more traditional food inspired by the Mexican holiday.
Dia de los Muertos
Nov. 4, 6 p.m.
The Arlington Arts Center is celebrating the holiday with a monthlong exhibit opening on Nov. 4 that highlights the artwork of local artists living in the mid-Atlantic region.
Day of the Dead Workshop
Nov. 4, 4:30 p.m.
The Arlington Arts Center will hold two classes for children ages 7-14 on Nov. 4, where students can create art and learn more about the Mexican holiday.