Went to my first ever Dia De Muertos celebration tonight. Which is odd, seeing how I grew up in a part of the US that is mostly hispanic. For years, I've considered the skulls, skeletons and costumes as something evil to be avoided. This year I decided that was stupid. To be afraid of pissing off God or the church or whomever, by refusing to have a good time with those in my community just because someone else said it was bad. Had to check it out for myself...
Turns out it was a GREAT time with dancing, music, food, art, celebration, color, fun and laughter with loads of people from the community. Tonight's party was the kick off to a week long festival celebrating the lives of those that have gone before us.
Instead of being evil or scary as I'd always been warned, it was quite funny to see ghosts, skeletons and "spirits" dancing a jig!! It took the fright out of death and put the emphasis of joy into life.
Best part of the whole evening was when a 91 year old woman, won the costume contest!!! The crowd roared it's approval at her laughing at the face of death! It was fantastic to watch her dance around, wearing a full black dress, hat and painted face! Amazing!
Next weekend will be even better!! There's a community wide offerena (rememberance altar) where I plan on adding pictures of my dad, my grandparents and the couple that lived next door to my parents for my entire life. Those are the people I want to honor, and celebrate this year.
There will be a parade and then parties in various places in town. I'm going to hit as many of them as possible!!
Viva Los Muertos!
Image from a mousepad which can be purchased here: