There's Still Time to Celebrate the Dead (and Get a Free Drink)

Hands-on crafts, and food and drink specials

It might be All Saints' Day for a lot of people, but it's the Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, for others. Also known as All Soul's Day, it's traditionally celebrated Nov. 2, but sometimes gets started on All Saint's Day, or Nov. 1.

In other words, the dead are really getting their dues this weekend. You can help honor and remember them with various events around D.C., including a Sloe Dead Fizz.

At the National Museum of the American Indian, they're wrapping up a two-day family-friendly Day of the Dead event that's included live entertainment and hands-on craft activities including demonstrations of traditional papel picado ("cut paper work"), Sugar Skull, Ofrenda ("Altar" or "offering") featuring Guatemalan kites, Paper Sculpture and Paper Mache. The event ends at 4 p.m. Nov. 1.

There's another family event over at the National Museum of American History featuring hands-on activities reflecting the tradition behind the holiday that started at midnight on Oct. 31. Activities include making paper flowers to leave at the museum's "ofrenda" -- an altar designed to honor the memory of braceros, Mexican guest workers who labored in the U.S. from 1942-1964 whose story is told in the museum's new exhibition, "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964." This event ends at 4 p.m. Nov. 1 too.

Meanwhile, at the Mexican Cultural Institute (2829 16th St. N.W.), they've got an open house that includes the opening of the traditional Altar de Muertos, designed by Mexican artist Humberto Spíndola. And in case you can't get over there by 4 p.m. Nov. 1. The altar will be open at the Institute through November. 

Piratz Tavern (8402 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring), like other Mexican restaurants in the area, is also celebrating the Mexican custom. Brunch includes pumpkin painting & crafts for kids as well as sword fighting exhibitions, until 4 p.m. Nov. 1. Olé!

Rosa Mexicano near Metro Center even has a special menu in honor of the special celebration. The Pumpkin Spiced Margarita and Black Angus Rib Eye with Serrano Chile Butter look especially tempting to us, and those are only two of the menu additions that go through Nov. 22.

Finally, how could you pass up a "Sloe Dead Fizz?" Especially when it's free with this card and an equal purchase -- i.e., spend $5 to get the special cocktail for free -- at Oyamel (401 7th St. N.W.). With more than half of the dinner specials priced at $5.50, we call that an especially excellent bargain.

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