ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Dia de los Muertos is a day that a lot of people around the world celebrate. It’s a time to commemorate loved ones who’ve died.

It’s a tradition full of colors and many people across West Texas try to keep the holiday alive.

I like that we celebrate the people that have died,” said 9-year-old Ayleen Nino, of Odessa.

She has celebrated Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead almost her entire life.

“I like it because I feel like my grandma is here with me,” she said.

Dia de los Muertos is a two-day holiday where the living and dead reunite. November 1 and 2 is when it’s traditionally celebrated.

“So, this is one of the things about Dia de los Muertos is to remember all your friends and family that have passed away to let them know we haven’t forgotten,” said Odessa native Jesse Porras with Porras Productions.

The celebration originated in Mexico, but Porras said everyone can take part.

“A lot of us it’s a tradition that we make an altar where we put food, drinks…and we also put a candle, this is something that has been a tradition for many years,” shared Porras with ABC Big 2.

He explained that families can create ofrendas, or offerings, of items that are then placed on altars to welcome back dead loved ones.

“A lot of us go to the cemetery, we sing to them, make altars [and] sing to them [and] play,” said Porras.

Dia de los Muertos became very personal to him after his son died.

“This is one of the reasons this tradition to me is very strong I want to let him know that I will never forget him,” he said.

For the past three years, Porras has put on a Dia de los Muertos parade in Odessa with the help of other groups in the area.

“And I’m going to continue doing this for the people so I can get the kids to know what Dia de los Muertos is all about,” said Porras.

He said those who participate in the October 29 event can dress up to commemorate those who have passed on and the most recognizable character is “La Catrina.”

“At the parade you are going to be able to see some of these young ladies dressed as [Las] Catrinas,” said Porras. “La Catrina is you know when someone passes away [and] the skeletons verify she has passed away.”

La Catrina is an elegant skeleton, mainly used as a symbol for Dia de los Muertos.

Little Ayleen said she loves dressing up as one for the parade, seeing new faces, and of course, the food.

“It’s a very happy thing [and] there’s a lot of food and you dress up, you will really like it,” she said.

The parade is this Saturday, October 29 at 6 p.m. It will start at La Hacienda Vieja in Odessa.

Porras said people can come dress up in costumes as well.

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