Last Saturday afternoon I ventured to downtown Tulsa to Living Arts Tulsa which was putting on their annual Dia de los Muertos Art Festival. I missed all the performances that happened the night before but they still had the altars to loved ones that community members built.
Dia de los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead. Is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of loved ones for a few days of visiting and feasting. It is usually celebrated October 31 to November 2.
As part of the holiday altars (or ofrendas) are built to honor family members. There are conventions for the altars (check here) but it seems more and more the ofrendas are departing from the “rules” and the emphasis is showing the departed, their interests and passions.
One sees lots of marigolds in these ofrendas. Some believe that orange is the only color that departed souls can see. Many ofrendas create a path of marigold flowers from the floor to the altar and then to the top of the altar. Those are to help guide souls to the altar and then on to heaven.
The brightly colored tissue paper with patterns cut into it is known as Papel Picado. It symbolizes the union between life and death.
Sometimes favorite clothing and beverages are on display.
You see lots of pastries and candles.
Photographs, favorite drinks are displayed as well.
Somebody constructed an ofrenda in honor of the recently deceased singer Jimmy Buffett. A guitar, music, and sandals were some of the objects on display.
I didn’t build an ofrenda but I did use a snapchat filter to celebrate.
I really enjoyed the whole show.
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