Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is observed October 31 through November 2, but for the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, the holiday took place on the ice this week.
The team wore specialty uniforms and rebranded as Los Chimuelos de San Antonio for last night’s game, a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Barracuda. The logo incorporated a traditional calavera (sugar skull) an altar, and the yellow and red marigold associated with Day of the Dead observations.
“Chimuelos” is Spanish for toothless man (as seen in the “sugar skull” logo above), a wink and a nod to the sometimes-gaping smiles that hockey players are known for.
— Chimuelos de San Antonio (@sarampage) October 27, 2018
Dia de los Muertos is a primarily Mexican holiday in which celebrants honor those who have died and aid them in their spiritual journey through prayer. While its origins are somber, the holiday has taken on a more festive, Halloween-like atmosphere in recent years.
“Nearly 64 percent of the population here identifies itself as Hispanic so from a business standpoint its obviously important, but really its about connecting culturally with our city,” said Ryan Snider, the team’s director of business operations, quoted on SI.com. “That’s who we are, so it’s vital that we represent who our city is and the cultural values that we represent.”
The evening included appearances by mariachi bands, traditional dancers, and even an altar where fans brought photos of loved ones they wished to honor.