MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – In the Mexican culture, Dia De Los Muertos is a day of celebration of the lives of those that we have lost. People have confused the day as “Mexican Halloween”, but it is far from that.

During the celebration of life, households will have an alter or ofrenda set up with pictures of loved ones who have passed. Included on those ofrendas are foods, drinks and symbols or items that remind the family of that family member.

“Instead of being a sad celebration it’s actually a joy of celebration together with a family reunion,” says Dr. Jean Gomez. “I think this is just something that our in culture that’s important to bring and especially to bring to the audience and our students to teach them some of the cultures we try to carry.”

This is the University of Texas Permian Basin’s third annual Dia De Los Muertos festival at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center.

When attendants arrive to the festival, they will find a community alter set up with pictures of loved ones, skulls surrounded by colorful pieces of cloth as well as a mannequin dressed up in traditional Mexican clothing. The festival will close out with a performance by the UTPB mariachi, folklorico and orchestra.