Saturday was a busy, busy day for the family. Heather went with her Mother to western Oklahoma to visit family. Logan has a lot of stuff going on and so he and I stayed home. So I took him to his horseback riding class, then to his Improv comedy workshop, and then to his rehearsal (Have I told you that he auditioned for and got a part in a Christmas play coming up.)
Anyways while he was at rehearsal I ventured to the Brady District north of downtown and took in the Day of the Dead celebration at Living Arts of Tulsa. I had always wanted to go and now I had my chance.
The first thing I saw were the murals. For something celebrating the dead they sure are alive. I love the big bright colors. The holiday is known as Dia De Los Muertos and originates in Mexico.
They are macabre in a friendly kind of way.
I really don’t get the symbolism.
This is my favorite.
There were two stages and lots of performances. I saw Ballet Folklorico Tonatiuh performing some amazing dances.
The video is only 12 seconds long. These young ladies are spectacular. It brought back some great memories of Ballet Folklorico de Mexico which I got to see during a two week stay in Mexico City when I was in high school.
As good as the murals and the performing arts were, the most fascinating thing at the show for me were the Altars or Ofrendas made to departed loved ones. The Day of the Dead is the day that the dead reunite with the living. The altars are set up in honor of the dead, not to worship them. Lots of good information here. The altar above is for Robin Williams.
This one is for the women who were convicted and executed for witchcraft at the Salem witch trials.
This one was set up in honor of dog. Note the treats and personal items and photographs. The candles are to help guide the spirit to the Altar.
Their were altars that were very personal. Note the fresh fruit and snacks which is common. The marigolds are common also.
Note the beverages which were favorites of the departed and the bread, Pan de Muerto. The dead do not eat or drink the beverages. Instead they absorb the aroma and extract the essence of the food or drink.
A suicide support group had put together an altar.
I loved the whole concept of once a year reuniting in spirit with the loved ones. I found the whole thing to be a celebration of life and an affirmation of a belief in the afterlife, rather than a macabre fascination with death. It got me thinking, I think I might have to specify what I want on my Ofrenda. Pictures of Heather, Logan, and I on the beach would be a must. And my GPS receiver and an ammo box for geocaching, one of my many participant ribbons for my running, a sunrise photograph and one of my cheap film cameras for photography. . Oh, yeah a Fat Tire Beer, and a Snicker’s Bar. And a Breaking Bad DVD, along with one of Chinatown (the best movie ever made. I’m not even going to discuss it!) And don’t forget a Metallica CD, or Five Finger Death Punch. I could go on and on.
What about you, what would your Offrenda have on it?