Kingman youth invited to Day of the Dead event

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Library is bringing a taste of Mexican culture to Kingman's youth through a program today honoring Day of the Dead.

The free program will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the program room of the Kingman branch library, 3269 N. Burbank St. It will include age-appropriate crafts, traditional Mexican pastries and live music. No pre-registration is required, but crafts are limited to the amount of materials on hand for the activity.

"We weren't able to do this program last year because of a lack of staff," said Kelly Moore, library assistant senior for Youth Services. "When we did it two years in a row before that, we were limited in the crafts we could make. This year, we want to do a lot more.

"We're hoping participants will learn about this important holiday and why it's celebrated in many cultures."

Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday that focuses on the joy of life rather than the fear of death through gatherings designed to remember and pray for family and friends who have died.

The celebration takes place today and Saturday in connection with the celebrations of All Hallow's Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

During the Mexican holiday, private altars are built honoring the deceased and are decorated with sugar skulls, banners, marigolds and the favorite food and drink of the departed. Family and friends visit the graves with these gifts and leave some of the deceased's possessions there.

Library program participants of preschool age will make sugar skull masks, while those 5 years and older will create tissue paper marigolds of varied colors. Youths 10 years and older will make a big tissue paper banner with cut out decorations.

Mexican music will be provided by Roger Casanova, a member of a local Mariachi band who will wear his traditional Mariachi costume and play throughout the program.

For more information, contact Youth Services at (928) 692-5741.