Saturday, October 26, 2013


It was a bit early but the Mesa Arts Center hosted a big Day of the Dead fiesta today.

SWMBO declined to attend, given as she is to an aversion to all of the skulls and skeletons present at these events.  Plus she wanted part of a day with the kitchen to herself as she tackled her first macarons. She learned a few things but I can attest that they are delicious and seem properly both crunchy and chewy.

But back to the celebration.  In Mexico, it is a three-day celebration. On October 31st (All Hallows Eve) children make an alter to invite the spirits of dead children back for a visit.  On November 1st, all of the spirits come for a visit on All Spirits Day.  November 2nd is All Souls Day, when families of the departed go to cemeteries to decorate their ancestors' graves.  Marigolds, photos of the dead relatives, perhaps some of their favorite foods and drink are brought and it frequently develops into an hours-long picnic.

At today's early celebration, faces were painted like skulls and skeletons and many other types of skulls were everywhere.

Unlike the American Halloween the depictions of skulls and skeletons are not intended to frighten but to remember and celebrate the relatives who have gone on before us.

The Arts Center did a marvelous job of decorating it's buildings and grounds for the festival.

As at any Mexican celebration there is an abundance of color, beautiful costumes, music and dancing.

The youngest dancers gathered at the side of the stage to watch their mentors.

Here are a couple of videos of what they saw and heard.

As I turned to go, I was struck by the look of intense concentration on the face of this nina

 She seemed lost in a world of dreams as she watched the adults dancing, thinking perhaps of the day when she would be an adult and . . like them . . still dancing and bringing joy to the rest of us.


Tom Cochrun said...

Great photos. Wonderful portrayal of the color, texture and emotion of the celebration and observance. Lucky you. A great cultural immersion and then SWMBO's macaroons.

Steve said...

Enjoyed the post very much. Reminds me to buy some sweets for the 31st.

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

Macarons, not macaroons.

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

Be careful and don't get the kind YOU enjoy!

Stephen Hayes said...

It's a curious holiday but it does preserve a connection with family and loved ones that transcends mortality.

The Bug said...

I love all the color. I'm not really into skeletons either - but I think the painted faces are pretty cool!