It was a party at the Kern County Museum Sunday as the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its 10th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration.
“We are celebrating our loved ones,” president of KCHCC Jay Tamsi said. “This is not a sad occasion. This is non-denominational. This is something we really want to share with our community. These are our loved ones that have passed away. We want to pay homage to them. We want to pay our respects to them as much as we can and show them that we really love them and we think about them all the time.”
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a tradition in Hispanic culture honoring and remember loved ones who have died.
“It just goes back to our roots,” attendee Juan Salazar said “Honoring our loved ones and those that have left us behind, and you know it’s just one of those traditions that we share from Mexico and it’s just, it’s very important to us to keep that tradition and show our children what those traditions are.”
Many people, like Nick Rodriguez and his family, remember their beloved souls by setting up alters with pictures and some of their loved ones favorite things.
“When someone dies, there’s a lot of the grieving process that takes place you know,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone grieves the loss of someone. This is a time to welcome them back and celebrate their lives.”
For the last ten years Rodriguez has set up an alter celebrating members of the family from grandparents, to parents, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
“It’s not a sad face here,” said Rodriguez. “Everyone is happy. Everyone is having a good time and being able to share their story with everyone, so we like it because we embrace that they had a beautiful life and we are happy we spent time with them.”