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Latinos Remember Lost Loved Ones with Day of the Dead Parade

Day of the Dead celebrations include puppets and remembrance.  Courtesy: Unidad Latinos en Accion
Day of the Dead celebrations include puppets and remembrance. Courtesy: Unidad Latinos en Accion
November 2, 2015

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It was part protest and part celebration as New Haven's Latino community held its fifth annual Day of the Dead Parade on Saturday.

With puppets, music, home cooked food and a giant altar to the dead, hundreds turned out for the colorful event.

John Lugo, an organizer with Unidad Latina en Accion (Latinos United in Action), says the festivities are a way to remember those who have died struggling for a better life, including family and friends.

"But also the victims of the unjust immigration system that we have in this country that forces people to cross the border, and many of them die in the process," he points out.

The event also commemorated those who have been victims of violence and displacement in their home countries.

Prominent at the event was a piñata representing Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump, whom Latinos say has often singled them out in anti-immigrant statements – and a giant dragon which, according to Lugo, represents the dangers of global climate change.

"Climate change is another thing that is going to be forcing millions of people to move from one part of the planet to another part of the planet because of the effects,” he stresses. “So, a big dragon is there also to create awareness."

Day of the Dead celebrations are a longstanding tradition among the indigenous people of Central and South America.

In this country, many immigrant populations hold festivals and parades to celebrate their heritage. Lugo says the Day of the Dead festival is a way for the Latino community to join in that tradition.

"This will be our cultural contribution to this society, and specifically the city of New Haven that has welcomed us, and became one of the most welcoming cities for immigrants in the United States," he explains.

Day of the Dead celebrations are now being held in many cities across the country.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT