With the Culver City Art Group 18th Holiday Art Show looming less than a week away on November 9, yesterday I decided to take the train downtown to Grand Park to see if I could find anything worth photographing to enter into the show. My kiln went kaput recently and as I don’t have the time or the money to get it fixed, this year, instead of ceramic tiles, I am showing photos. I am looking at it like the universe is shoving me in a different direction. So I am going with the shove!
Lo and behold, when I emerged from the train station I could see preparations were going on for some kind of event. I soon realized it was a Dia de los Muertos celebration. I was there around 11:30am but the party was not due to start until 3:00pm (going on into the night) so I didn’t get to see the full effect. Entrance and exit to and from the park would have been closed down by then anyway so it was a good thing I was there beforehand.
According to Wikipedia: “Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the Christian triduum of Hallowmas: All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.”
You’ll notice the use of a lot of marigolds in the altars. The Aztecs believed that the smell was strong enough to raise the souls of the dead so they could come back to join in the festivities.
I’m hoping I can make some kind of collage from these photos for my entry in the Members’ Theme (Abstract Patterns) or I may decide to go with what I already have. We’ll see, as time is running out!
There were so many interesting altars it was difficult to choose only certain ones, but below is a slide show gallery of some random picks. Click on any photo to start the show.
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