Monday, November 1, 2010

Scenes from the Day of the Dead Celebration

There really is nothing else like this celebration. On the Mesilla Plaza just south of Las Cruces people built altars to remember their dead. It's hard to describe the combination of death, love, and humor present on the beautifully sunny afternoon when my sister and I strolled around the plaza.


Lots of sun, lots of people
A tribute to the murdered women of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; in the background on the black boards are hundreds more names honoring military dead








Altar for a little dog

12 comments:

matron said...

It is interesting to learn about customs from different parts of the world and though I knew of this custom,I have never actually seen the altars. Now that you have shown them,I do not know what I think,the main word that comes to mind is -bizarre.
I understand that you might have a photo of a loved one and a candle,a memorial wreath etc,but the skeletons look macarbre.
Is this day a happy or a sad occasion.??
Here in Ireland,we celebrate All souls,or as you call it ,the day of the dead,by a church service and the lighting of a candle for the dear departed.
Very interesting to see how we all have different customs.
Carolyn.

clairz said...

Matron, the first time I saw this celebration here in southern New Mexico, I thought "bizarre!" as well. The sight of laughing children crunching on candy skulls was almost too much for me. My impression is that the celebrations are a kind of remembrance of loved ones who are gone together with a kind of thumbing one's nose at death, thus making it something one can deal with. I hope that makes sense.

JC said...

I think it would take me a bit of time to get used to the skull designs. Halloween for me is just little kids dressing up a Cinderella or Spiderman. Last night there was Sponge Bob too.

I'm sure it's a nice display honoring their loved ones.

I think each culture probably does it differently.

Thanks for sharing ...

Sandy ~~~ said...

Hmmm...I think it will take me a long time to get used to this celebration. Just don't like the skeleton faces. Maybe seeing it in person will help? Thanks for the great pics though!

thesouthernlady64 said...

Amazing and very colorful! I need your beautiful fireplace tonight. It is getting in the 20s here. Have a good week.

Deb said...

We surely do live in a country of varied cultures and tradtions, don't we? There you are with skulls and scariness...and I'm puttering slowly behind an Amish buggy on the way to the supermarket. Ahhhh...we can't be accused of being "cookie cutter", can we?? ;)

becky said...

I could see where this is a celebration of life, a remembrance, but sad, too. Especially in the case of the women of CJ and those in the war, those make me feel especially heartachey. They did have a celebration, here, too on friday night, but I didn't make it, though I would like to go.

KaHolly said...

Now that's quite different. I had read of this celebration before, but it was difficult to imagine. It's kind of spooky, isn't it?

ga.farmwoman said...

What an interesting celebration! It would be nice way to spend time... to look at all the different altars that people took time to build to honor people(and a little dog) that have passed on.

I enjoyed seeing the celebration through your photos.
Have a great day.
Pam

Quiet Paths said...

Exactly, the culture trying to grapple with the reality of death which is really just a part of life. It is fascinating and the pictures are great! Was that a permanent tattoo on that lady's chest?

clairz said...

Quiet, when I asked if I could take the lady's photo, she was turned away from me and I didn't see the tattoo until she turned to me to speak. It was a beautiful tattoo, but I was trying not to stare too much! Plus, I was afraid that I would stumble over the word tattoo, thus making it sound like ta-ta. Sorry, but all that rushed through my mind, I just snapped the photo, and scampered off. Yikes!

EG Wow said...

I think it's meant to be a positive, healthy celebration, as you wrote. I have never participated in the celebration but would love to some time.