Day of The Dead Chi-City Style

Read more

The Chi goes all out for Day of the Dead, here is your sabelotodo guide to the 2008 festivities including la receta for the traditional pan de muertos and what candy store to hit up if you’re looking for the perfect sugar skulls.

Every year, The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) in Chicago prides itself on hosting the largest Day of the Dead exhibit in the nation. This year the NMMA dedicates it’s ofrendas to the 40th anniversary of one of Mexico’s darkest days, the 1968 massacre at Tlatelolco or “El 68”, as it has been ingrained in the memory of modern day Mexican culture. On October 2nd (ten days before the 1968 summer Olympic games in Mexico City) following months of student demonstrations, the military opened fire on thousands gathered at the heart of the city. The exact number of victims remains a mystery, but it is estimated somewhere between 200-300 students were shot to death at the demonstration. Multiple investigations following the massacre remain controversial while the Mexican government has yet to assume full responsibility for the premeditated attack on this day.  La Vida Sin Fin at the NMMA comes complete with a multimedia exhibit and thought-provoking pieces exploring challenges of civil unrest then as well as with the challenges our city is facing today (including our bid to host the 2016 summer Olympics).

Scroll down for more on La Vida Sin Fin and other Day of the Dead events in Chicago that we especially recommend:

La Vida Sin Fin, NMMA
The 22nd annual Día de los Muertos exhibition, La Vida Sin Fin. This year’s exhibition honors the student demonstrators killed ten days prior to the 1968 Summer Olympics by the Mexican government in the Tlatelolco massacre.

Calaveras y Costumes: Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos Performance
Wednesday Oct 29, Sunday Nov 2nd
Yollocalli Youth Arts Reach
Haunted House and Traditional Altar made by students for the community

Vivan Nuestros Muertos!
Friday, Oct 31, 7:30pm
At the historical Morse Theater featuring: Fandanguero (Son Jarocho), Benjamin Anaya and the United Strangers (Psychedelic Samba), Caracoles Electro (Prehispanic Electronic) Artwork and Altar by: Patricia Acosta

Día de los Muertos In Pilsen
Friday, Oct 31 APO Cultural Center
1438 W. 18th St
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos in  Pilsen by visiting artists studios and enjoying a musical concert in the ballroom. Artists include: Jeff Abbey Maldonado, Ricardo Santos Hernandez, Mauro Vasquez, and Pablo Serrano

Day of the Dead Parade
Monday, Nov 3  4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The 29th annual indoor-outdoor Pilsen celebration features face painting, a make-your-own hat station, kid circus acts and breakdancers. At 6 p.m., a parade heads from Dvorak Park to Casa Aztlan, where a party features celebratory bread and punch and a folk tale-inspired play.

Day of the Dead:  A Contemporary View
October 17 – November 5, 200
The Art Center 1957 Sheridan Road Hghland Park, IL  60035, 847-432-1888
Aldo Castillo will curate a group show that inspires a contemporary view and idea of what the Day of the Dead represents in our modern culture. Exhibit represents a mixture of Christian devotion and Pre-Historic traditions and beliefs. Artists: Lorna Marsh, Luis Fernando Uribe, Scott Ashley, and Aldo Castillo.

Where to find the perfect Sugar Skull and other Day of the Dead candy?
Dulcelandia got you covered at any of the following locations:
4616 S. Kedzie Ave
3300 W. 26th St
3855 W. Fullerton Ave.

From Global Gourmet Recipes

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
5 to 5-1/2 cups flour
2 packages dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon whole anise seed
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs

In a saucepan over medium flame, heat the butter, milk and water until very warm but not boiling. Meanwhile, measure out 1-1/2 cups flour and set the rest aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and sugar. Beat in the warm liquid until well combined. Add the eggs and beat in another 1 cup of flour. Continue adding more flour until dough is soft but not sticky. Knead on lightly floured board for ten minutes until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a bowl and place dough in it, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape into loaves resembling skulls, skeletons or round loaves with “bones” placed ornamentally around the top. Let these loaves rise for 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and paint on glaze.

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then apply to bread with a pastry brush. If desired, sprinkle on colored sugar while glaze is still damp.