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Medina's Day of the Dead

What is the Day of the Dead - or Dia de los Muertos?

The Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration is a time of joyful remembrance of deceased loved ones, filled with an array of colors, scents, sounds and stories.

Centered around the Christian observance of All Saints and All Souls Days on November 1 and 2, the celebration includes images and ideas about the roles of ancestors in our lives that trace back to Mexico’s indigenous peoples. 

Traditionally, people welcome souls at this one time of the year when they can return to earth for a day, to commune with their families and friends.   Celebrations include the construction of an ofrenda or home altar to honor the returning souls, who are greeted with flowers, fruits, incense, photos, and their favorite food and drink.

Families clean and refresh grave sites of loved ones and may spend the night in a candle-lit vigil in the cemetery, often with the whole community. Hospitality and generosity among the living is a very important part of the holiday.  Neighbors and family visit one another, sharing stories, remembrances, and special foods associated with the holiday such as tamales, hot chocolate and a special bread called pan de muerto.

We hope you can visit our Dia de Muertos Celebración this year!

For more information email: or go to 


GLOW Traditions supports our area's living cultural heritage through documentation and public programming of traditional arts. It operates collaboratively among the Arts Council for Wyoming County, Livingston Arts, and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. This regional program has been led since 1997 by founding Director, Karen Canning.

What do we mean by traditional arts? Traditional or folk arts are the ways a group maintains and passes on its shared way of life. They are usually learned informally, through watching and doing rather than learning from a book or in school. Traditional arts are often passed down over generations, expressing a community's sense of beauty, identity and values. Folk arts and folkways range from verbal "lore" like local ghost stories, children's rhymes or family sayings, to material arts like woodcarving, quilting or fly tying, to performance arts like fiddling, break dancing, or square dance calling. Your family, your church, your fraternal club – these are all groups that practice and maintain creative traditions that give meaning to everyday life.

Our folk arts program was established in 1985, one of the first in New York state. Dr. Bruce Buckley, a noted scholar and folklorist who had retired from the folklore program at Cooperstown/SUNY Oneonta, came to Wyoming County and began his second career in public folk arts documentation and programming. His work forms the basis of our archive of traditional arts, which contains interviews and slides of more than 150 artisans in our region from 1985 to the present day. Folklorist Kathy Kimiciek led the program from 1988-1990, and in 1996 Karen Canning became the staff folklorist for the region encompassing Wyoming, Livingston, Genesee and Orleans (GLOW) Counties. In 2013 we officially renamed our program, GLOW Traditions, to further emphasize the connection to our partner arts councils in surrounding counties: ACWC, Livingston Arts and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Here are some examples of projects and events in Wyoming County over the years:

  • Producing the exhibit “A Good Ride: Arts and Traditions of the Attica Rodeo” 
  • Needlework arts and traditional foods demonstrations at farmers’ markets
  • Display of wildlife art and taxidermy
  • Native American beading and cornhusk doll workshops with county Girl Scout troops
  • Chainsaw carving demonstrations at Beaver Meadow Harvest Fest
  • Apprenticeship training in square dance calling and music
  • Concerts of old time music and Italian American traditional music
  • Demonstration of turkey calls and hunting techniques

We are always interested in learning more about who is carrying on these arts. Who are our leaders and craftspeople in traditions such as woodworking, ethnic crafts, and taxidermy? Who knows about meat smoking or cheese making, medicinal plants, or tried and true farming methods? Who are the old time musicians, the best tale-tellers? Who are the experts in needlework, quilting, lace making, and other home arts? We would love to talk to you and hear about what you do.

Call us, stop in, and look for our next event!

  • Support for the Arts Council for Wyoming County comes from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Other funding comes from the Wyoming County Government, the Conable Family, Mar

    Support for the Arts Council for Wyoming County comes from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Other funding comes from the Wyoming County Government, the Conable Family, Mary Conable, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Western New York, and Wyoming Foundations. Additional support comes from Key Bank, Tompkins Community Bank, Complete Payroll, ACWC members and other private donors.

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