Yakima altar exhibit to open for 'Dia de los Muertos' - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima altar exhibit to open for 'Dia de los Muertos'

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YAKIMA, WA - One group in Yakima is doing its part to bring new cultural perspectives to the area.

Day of the Dead, a traditional Aztec holiday honoring loved ones who have passed, is coming up on November 2nd.

The Yakima-Morelia Sister Association is hosting an exhibit displaying 'Day of the Dead' altars, which are typically made with three tiers representing the birth, life, and death of the person whom it honors.

Clara Eustis, secretary of the association and a coordinator of the event, says there are many misconceptions regarding 'Dia de los Muertos', often including the idea that the holiday is morbid or scary, but the altar display hopes to teach people that it's really quite the opposite.

"I think it has a lot to do with a lot of the skulls or the skeletons dressed in funny costumes, or they'll be doing the kinds of things people do in life, so it's kind of like, you don't want to fear death," says Eustis. "It's kind of, you're not really making fun of death, but it's part of life."

Some of the altars include one made by Wags to Riches, where people can honor and remember their pets who have passed, as well as one by the YWCA for Marcy Briones, a young mother who was a victim of domestic violence.

The altar exhibit will feature a candlelight vigil on November 2nd for other victims of domestic violence and violent crime.

There is also a community altar for anyone to come and place mementos or photos in remembrance of someone who has passed.

Eustis says this exhibit is "...kind of our sister city gift to the people of Yakima".

The Day of the Dead celebration, located on 16 North 3rd Street in Yakima, is free to the public and will be open from October 29th to November 5th.