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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Day of the Dead 

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  • By Chad Frey Newton Kansan Friday afternoon there were plenty of skeletons in Themian Park, where Day of the Dead revelers gathered to prepare for a parade. People of all ages came to have their faces painted in preparation for a downtown parade. For Alice Monarez, it was a chance to be with her 7 year old granddaughter. "This is a chance for her to have some fun," Monarez said. But it was so much more than that. The Monarez family came to Newton from Mexico generations ago to work on the railroad. They liked what they found here, and they stayed. Friday was a chance to celebrate some of that heritage. "This is a tradition in Mexico," Monarez said. "It honors the dead." Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos in Spanish, is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The international celebration takes place each year Nov. 1 and 2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased. In Newton Friday there was face painting in Themian Park, followed by a parade that began at the park and ended at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
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