Dia de los Muertos at Springs Preserve

We went to the Springs Preserve for the Dia de los Muertos celebration this past weekend. I forgot to recharge my camera battery, so I only got a few pictures before it totally died. Ha!


It was a fantastic event, with so many altars that I am pretty sure I never actually saw all of them. A few things stand out in my mind.

First of all, you need to get there early or you can forget about doing the awesome crafts, like decorating sugar skulls. Plus a lot of the altars aren't well lit so you can't get the full effect unless you are there before it gets dark.

Secondly, pack a sandwich or a snack - or prepare to stand in the hungry line for a really long time. I don't mind standing in line for delicious food (pupusas and Sonoran hot dogs!) as long as I am not starving while I am waiting. Also, later in the evening we tried to get churros, but just 4 people away from my sweet, sweet churros they ran out. Get your churros early, people. 

Third of all, make sure your camera is locked and loaded. Because the photo ops are wonderful. The calacas abound, and the designs are so creative it was all the more frustrating that I couldn't really take very many!

I had to keep turning my camera on for a split second and snapping furiosly before the camera would shut down. I was able to do this a few times before it didn't have enough juice even for that.

One of the altars in particular was especially beautiful and evocative. It was dark all around, but there were many candles lit and even what appeared to be freshly dug graves.

I felt as though I was in rural Mexico at someone's funeral. The candles and marigolds were beautiful in their own tragic way, and I suddenly felt as though I understood Dia de los Muertos. It isn't just a celebration of life. It is also a nod to unfathomable mysteries of death. Bringing back that moment of sorrow and remembrance is bittersweet but also a little confounding. There is much we cannot grasp about death. Dia de los Muertos reminds us of that.

I tried to snap some pictures of that altar, this is what I got.



What was present but doesn't come through in the pictures is the feel of the cool air on your skin, the smell of moist dirt and incense, and the voices murmuring softly in Spanish.

By the way, that isn't a Paul Ryan election sign! That is the photo of a deceased loved one. In case you were wondering.

I also met up with Vanessa from De Su Mama, a beautiful blog you need to get acquainted with. Her daughter and my daughters got along swimmingly, and she snapped this photo of them.


I think its funny how we have these three little Latinas sitting side-by-side, and each one has such a unique skin color, from cinnamon to cream. That is why I always wonder about people who refer to Hispanics as "La Raza" ... what race, exactly, are they talking about? Seems like there are a lot of races represented. And I like it that way.

Here is another photo of one of the altar by De Su Mama...thankfully she backed me up on the needs for photos! Thanks, Vanessa! This image was created entirely out of dried beans and rice. The gentleman who put it together told me it took him 2 days to create it.



Comments

  1. It was so fun spending time together! We must do it again soon!

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