70 Days Across America
San Antonio Day of the Dead – known as Dia de los Muertos -in Spanish – is an important holiday with roots dating back 3,000 years. This festival is a celebration of the dearly departed. There are more than 20 events, with processions, parades, festivals, and live music.
Why I’m Here …
So what am I doing in San Antonio?
San Antonio is a city in Southern Texas. With an estimated population of 1,547,253, it is not only the seventh most populous city in the United States.
In addition, it is the second most populous city in Texas. Only Houston has a larger population.
San Antonio is a historic city. And it has a fascinating collection of historic sites. Included are the Alamo and four missions.
As the oldest municipality in Texas, it was founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718. In fact, the city was celebrating its 300th anniversary the year of my visit.
Second Leg of My Epic Trip
Coincidentally, San Antonio was first stop on the second leg of my epic trip, 70 Days Across America.
I had already spent a few weeks in Northern California. While there, I visited San Francisco, Los Altos, Napa Valley, Concord, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Sacramento.
Originally, I was hoping to make it all the way from California to the East Coast. As fate would have it, that wasn’t going to be possible.
First, I spent twice as much time in Northern California as I had originally planned. I was simply having too much fun connecting with old friends and long lost cousins.
Second, two of my hosts on the East Coast had to back out because of health issues
As time was running out, I decided to skip the East Coast. While I was expecting to visit San Antonio on my way back across the country, I decided to make it the furthest point east on my trip.
Then i would head back to California by way of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A cousin I hadn’t seen in 50 years had settled there. And she said not only could I stay with her.
In addition, she would like to introduce me to her children and grandchildren.. Also, she would like to show me around New Mexico!
Finally, I would end my trip in Southern California, as originally planned. And I would return to Hong Kong by way of LAX.
Arrival in San Antonio
I flew from Oakland International Airport to San Antonio International Airport. And I was met by my friend, who had put together a fascinating itinerary for me.
Fortuitously, my stay coincided with Day of the Dead. In Spanish, it is know as El Dia de los Muertos.
In fact, Day of the Dead is one of the most important events of the year in San Antonio.
Day of the Dead – Background
Known as Day of the Dead in English, el Dia de los Muertos is a day in which Mexicans celebrate the lives of dearly departed friends and relatives.
In fact, Day of the Dead is related to All Saints’ Day, which also falls on November First. In other words, it is the day after Halloween.
Fascinatingly, El Dia de Los Muertos` long predates the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the Americas. In fact, the traditions surrounding it date back more than 3,000 years!
On this day families make offerings to their forebears, who they believe return to earth to pay a visit.
Included are alters with skulls made of sugar as well as tamales and alcoholic spirits. And they objects are usually placed in the home or at grave sites.
Not only is the holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. In fact, it is also celebrated in many American cities with Mexican-American communities.
Dia de los Muertos in San Antonio
But nowhere is the Day of the Dead celebrated with more enthusiasm than in San Antonio, whose population is roughly two-thirds Hispanic!
In fact, the festivities continue for at least a week. They begin in late October and continue through early November.
In fact, more than 20 events of various types take place. And they include processions, parades, festivals, and live music.
A highlight is surely the parade of dancers, mariachis, and giant dancing puppets, which sail down San Antonio’s famed River Walk on November First.
On the following two days, a festival is held at La Villita Historic Arts Village, where families compete to create the most spectacular or creative alters. And there is no shortage of food, music, and dance.
Where to Stay in San Antonio
The St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel – 300 East Travis Street, San Antonio, Texas
- Click HERE to check room rates!
For More Information …
This post on Day of the Dead is part of a series chronicling my epic journey, 70 Days Across America. It contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission that will help maintain this blog.