Monday, October 21, 2013

Day of The Dead

I am so bummed that Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)  is quickly approaching and I will not be on the West Coast to partake in the annual festivities. For the majority of my East Coast friends, I am always having to explain this sacred holiday & it's meaning. That is only because the tradition is not very popular on this side of the country.

Although the holiday is celebrated in Latin communities throughout the world, it is a day which originated in Mexico. Gatherings are held where the living honor and remember their departed family members, friends, and pets. The dead are memorialized in artistic skeleton forms and placed on ornate altars. These altars are assembled in ways to honor a loved one using decorative flowers, candy and candles.

The altars are a gorgeous, artistic and colorful expression of love. For me, it is one of the most respectful of ways to honor my grandmother and my departed kitty, MuMu.
Handmade sugar skulls are dedicated to the departed soul as a 'sweet treat' offering. Along with the traditional treats, other favored food and beverage items are placed in remembrance as well.

The celebration takes place from November 1 to the 2nd. Immediately following the American tradition of All Souls Day (aka. Halloween.) DOTD has been around for centuries; just like our beloved Hallows Eve. (Shhh...I secretly laugh when some people say the celebration is weird and scary to them.) Halloween is composed of ghouls, goblins & zombies. Thus, making it scary and dark. Celebrating death through this artistic form of expression & color,  certainly
lightens the grief load, if only for a moment. These colors are mesmerizing..... I took these photos at a celebration going back 2 years ago.

So there you have it. We all have a departed loved one or two.  This festive celebration would not be complete without them, so... celebrate the life of your dearly departed.  The dead can dance.......:)

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