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'Death Faire': Music, Food, And Making Death Less Taboo

Death and spirits are part of conversations this week more than most other times of the year. On Monday, many donned costumes of ghosts and goblins to celebrate Halloween, and yesterday others around the world gathered for festivals and celebrations to mark the first day of El Dia de Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that honors the dead. But talking about death and dying is usually more taboo. While everyone experiences grief, illness, and death, these experiences are often kept private, discussed only with close friends and families.

This weekend, people from across the state will gather to break the silence around death through public celebration and conversation. The Death Faire is a day-long event in Pittsboro with workshops, activities, music, and food. Host Frank Stasio talks about the faire with organizer Tami Schwerin; contributor Donald Byrne, the owner and operator of Piedmont Pine Coffins; and Pepe Caudillo, an expert on El Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead).

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.