Ask a child almost anywhere in the United States what holiday takes place this week, and he or she is almost certain to answer “Halloween.” But if you ask that question in Arlington, you might get a second answer. Thanks to the Capitol Square Business Association, the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, observance is becoming a yearly ritual in the East Arlington neighborhood.
“Last year was the first time we hosted a Day of the Dead celebration,” said Jan Whitted, owner of Artbeat and manager of Arlington’s Capitol Square Business Association. “It’s easy to find people of all ages in Southern California and the Southwest who know about Day of the Dead, but it’s not nearly so popular around here. Many people have heard of it, but they don’t necessarily know what it is.”