Tonight I went to the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, for the non Spanish speakers) show at Altered Esthetics. It was wonderful. And totally just what I needed. I've had a long week and I didn't get to do anything for Halloween, which bummed me out because I love Halloween. This, though was a much better way to celebrate. I've loved Dia de los Muertos since I was 12 and I learned about it in Spanish class. As I've mentioned before, what I like about this holiday is that you celebrate someone's life and not their death. In Mexico, people build an alter on their loved ones' graves and bring ofrendas (offerings) of their favorite foods and posessions. They put marigolds on their graves, as well. Vendors sell sugar skulls and dancing skeletons. It is such a beautiful way to remember your loved ones. This just makes sense. I don't think our loved ones would want us to be suffering because they are gone. Since my mom's death, Dia de los Muertos, has taken on more personal meaning for me. I look forward to it each year and usually use it as a day for quiet reflection of memories of my mom. So, tonight, it just really seemed appropriate for me to go to an opening of a Dia de los Muertos show since the anniversary of my mom's death was this past week. I haven't had much time for any sort of reflection, which was slowly eating away at me.
The artwork was great, a wide variety of interpretations of Dia de los Muertos. For me, the most powerful was the alter that someone had built for a loved one. It was just very touching. I felt like I knew this woman. Lots of bright colored paintings of skulls and flowers. The photography of Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebrations were cool, too. There was also pan de los muertos (bread of the dead), which is bread that is shaped into a skull. I haven't had it in years. Probably since high school Spanish. It is such a good mix of sweet and plain (I'm not describing it very well). The gallery was decorated with marigolds and tissue paper flowers that added to the affect. There was also a candle light procession around the block. This is was such a good time for my quiet reflection.
Even though, I've worked through my mom's death, I still need to have my yearly closure of reflecting back on what a great person she was. It is just something I need to do every year. This show gave me the chance to do this and to see that I am not alone in celebrating a loved one's life.
The show is extremely well done and worth taking a look at. It runs through November 29th. I highly recommend it.