Day of the Dead tattoos, paintings, portraits, murals and altars are all common commemorations of an important celebration in the Mexican as well as South and Central American traditions. Known widely as the Halloween of Latin America, the Day of the Dead is a holiday that sets time aside for those who have fallen before us. I Went to the Day of the Dead Festival over the weekend...this is what I saw. The majority I asked permission [some from parents] from everyone allowing me to photograph them:
Skulls, as in skeletons, sugar skulls, ceramics, face painting are 'essential'. The meaning behind it is a way to accept that loved ones that have passed on are no longer among the living in the flesh, but a reminder that they are still alive in spirit; adorning with bright dress, instruments such as guitars, etc.
A face that is half flesh - half skull represents the ongoing cycle of life
This one was my favorite!
Band music is heard miles before you arrive!
Mariachi is the best!
Colors are traditionally symbolic:
Pink - Celebration and joy
Red - The blood of life and a symbol of sacrifice
Purple or Indigo - Grief and mourning, the pain of loss and suffering
White - Hope, promise and purity of spirit
Orange - The brilliance of the sun; a new day
Yellow - Symbol of death
One of the most important traditions is building an altar to remember those who have gone; usually very intricate and colorful. It's built in several steps taking days...
'Bout now, it's hot with all the closeness and the heat of the day...I look for this sign!! Aside from tradition, the culture also enjoys the celebrations in many ways...food, drink, fun. Also, we are fortunate enough to have part of the city streets shut down to traffic and enjoy the music, the festivities, the parade, the drink...and of course, you can't have a street festival without the vendors and those that get the attention they deserve. I like to go during the midday fair and watch the kids and family doing things together and enjoying themselves...people watch while I have a refreshing 'cool one'. A Denverite at heart it's gotta be Coors Light!!
...and to not forget my favorite day - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!