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Viva La Vida Parade and Festival: a Cultural Reflection

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This past weekend on October 26, 2019, I attended the 36th annual “Viva La Vida Parade and Festival” in Austin, Texas. This event was to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, during this event they had authentic and traditional Mexican food with live music from Mexican artists. What caught me off guard during this entire event was the fact that they had a low-rider exhibition, yes you read that correctly, they had a low-rider exhibition! I have never seen such beautiful cars in one location all at the same time. It was such an exciting time and a time I will most likely never forget.

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Other than that there was a parade that had floats, dancers and people in their wacky costumes marking down 6th street and then down 4th. They had multiple different floats being shown throughout the parade, one of them being a movable sculpture that was made by artists that partnered with RAICES to bring more attention to the immigrant detention centers down at the border. They also had a float that honored past Hispanic, and Latinx heroesffu that have helped us get to the place that we are at now in our society. Another thing we did while at the event was attend an art activity area where we created and worked on multiple different items such as a flower crown, a butterfly mask and decorating butterfly masks. I know it seems cliche but it was an enjoyable event as they also taught the importance of the Dia de Los Muertos and what it means to the Mexican culture.

Traditionally the Dia de Los Muertos is on November 1st and 2nd and is a time where family and friends come together to remember people who have died through celebration. What we were told was that this tradition goes back as far as the pre-Columbian era in Mexico and that people used to think of death as more of a transformation rather than a passing of life. We keep this tradition alive by honoring the ones we have lost by places flowers over their grave, singing their favorite songs, eating their favorite foods, and even placing pictures of you with the deceased. People often tend to share their stories and their favorite memories of the deceased as a way to honor them.

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I found this event rather interesting as I have never been to any of these types of cultural events. An event where there were lowriders, art, and a full-on parade that had people singing and dancing in fancy costumes. An event where they had mini-concerts going on while everyone was enjoying themselves at the event. I have never had so much fun at a place where I got to learn more about my past and what Dia de Los Muertos meant to our culture. I never knew this event went back so far and I never knew that they had an event like this every single year in Austin! I will be going back next year and I highly believe I will be going back every year after that just to relive my culture and to remember where I came from.

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Viva La Vida Parade and Festival: A Cultural Reflection. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
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