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Cultural center hosts Day of Dead celebration

The Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center will be hosting the ¡Viva La Vida! Día de Los Muertos Inaugural Festival on Friday.

It’s a Day of the Dead celebration.

“A lot of people think that we are obsessed with death, but it’s actually a celebration of life,” said Carlos Rivas, a local artist.

The center will be taking part in helping celebrate, but away from a graveyard. The celebration will be held in downtown Phoenix, on Adams Street between First and Second streets.

According the ALAC, there will be “live art demonstrations, food, live entertainment, traditional music and dance by local performers, children’s activities and community ‘Altars,’ will be installed to honor the loss of loved ones and to connect with one another through art and culture.”

The holiday can be traced back thousands of years to an Aztec festival in honor of the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the Lady of the Dead.

In many regions, Nov. 1 is set aside to honor and celebrate the lives of children and infants and Nov. 2 is dedicated to deceased adults. Traditionally, families gather for up to two days at graveyards with offerings of favorite offerings of the departed.

The event is free.