Celebrations of death are not uncommon in cultures throughout the world. Think of the New Orleans jazz funeral, the Irish wake and, of course, Día de los Muertos in Mexico, where an annual celebration honoring deceased family members is a national holiday.
How various cultures celebrate death through ceremony is the topic of a Sunnylands Salon Series event, “Ceremony and Celebration: Vida y Muerte,” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Kristel Laiblin, executive producer of the popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, is one of three panelists who will explore the historic nature of ceremonies surrounding death and how modern technology is changing them today. Laiblin’s series, which returns for a second season next year, is based on Jay Asher’s best-selling book of the same name. In it, Asher examines aspects of ceremony from the perspective of high school students who must grapple with the suicide of a classmate.
Joining Laiblin on the panel are Jennifer Scheper, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, who specializes in the history of religion in Latin America, and Alexis Nichols, a liaison to the General Council of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, whose duties include the preservation of cultural ceremonies.
The salon is being produced in partnership with Run with Los Muertos as part of CV Days of Los Muertos, a multi-day observance of Día de Los Muertos in the Coachella Valley.
Ceremony & Celebration: Vida y Muerte takes place at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, 37977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, Calif. Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and the electro-cumbia band Cumbia Machin will play during a mixer after the talk.
Tickets are $10 per person and seating is limited. Purchase tickets here.