Monday, November 06, 2017

Dia de los Muertos 2017

If you're one of my long-time blog readers (bless y'all), you'll know that I don't particularly care for Halloween, but I do like the two-day Hispanic celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. However, it is a bit of a misnomer to call it a Hispanic celebration since its origins go back 2,500 to 3,000 years ago-- long before the Spanish came to Mexico.

During these two days, families honor their dead, decorating cemeteries and tombs, bringing their deceased loved ones' favorite foods, drink, music, and mementos to the gravesites. One of the most important traditions is the set up of an altar in memory of the deceased in which the four elements of nature-- water, wind, fire (candles) and earth (flowers) are represented. Marigolds are the traditional flowers used because they are yellow like the sun and represent life and hope. You'll often see butterflies as well since in many cultures they are believed to be the souls of people who have died.

Each year Denis and I like to go to the Desert Botanical Garden here in Phoenix to see the Offrendas in the Webster Auditorium. Come join us on our walk through the auditorium to see all the colorful altars. The artists' names are beneath each photo, and if you'd like to see any of them in a larger size, all you have to do is click on any one of them and a new window will open so that you may do so.

Marco Albarran--front (db)

Marco Albarran--back (db)

Lucinda Yrene  (db)

Monica Crespo (db)

Ruben Galicia

Ruben Galicia--detail

Erika Soto & Sol Espinoza

Erika Soto & Sol Espinoza--detail

Erika Soto & Sol Espinoza--detail

Patricia Silva

Patricia Silva--detail

Zarco Guerrero

Aztec Smurf

Patrick Murrillo

Rafael Navarro

Edgar Fernandez

Martin Moreno

As you can see by the art, the Spanish/Catholic influence is there, but ancient civilizations like the Aztec are really at the heart of this celebration. Water was the predominant theme this year, and there is usually at least one altar that honors immigrants who have come here to work hard for a better life (Rafael Navarro's).

I never ask you which is your favorite because-- to be quite honest-- I don't think many of you like this art, and if you've gone this far in the post, you're just humoring me. (Thank you.) However, I will tell you which is my favorite: Zarco Guerrero's. It grabbed my attention no matter what part of the auditorium I was in.


  1. These are absolutely stunning 'photos, Cathy! It's such a fascinating holiday, and the art is unique and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome, Margot. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  2. It is amazing art. Although skeletons and skulls scare me, I do like some of this art. And I agree on the Zarco Guerrero.

    1. His work just caught my eye no matter where I was in the auditorium.


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