Connect To The Youth In Your Family By Connecting Them To Their Family History

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dia De Los Muertos

Last weekend, at a local event center Thanksgiving Point, my family and I got to attend a Dia De Los Muertos Event.  I'm not a big fan of Halloween--it just really isn't my thing, and I've always wished I lived in an area that celebrated Dia de los Muertos because that seemed a little more up my alley.  I love how it is a celebration of your ancestors and a chance to remember and honor them.  So we decided to go check this celebration out.  It was fun.  The decorations were beautiful with bright colors and Papel Picado flags representing the wind and the fragility of life. 
I love how happy this celebration is.  I love how it is a celebration of those who have passed on, not sad like a funeral, not scary like halloween, just fun--like a party. 
Waiting for the presentations.
There was great food and great signage everywhere to help people understand the significance of each part of the traditions. 
I loved the altars.  Families build altars to celebrate the life of someone who has passed on in their family.  It is a happy event to invite their loved one to return and enjoy some of the food, music, etc that they enjoyed during life.  It is also a great way to keep alive their memory and teach the younger generations about those who have passed on.  Altars can be built at home or in the cemetery and they are filled with offerings such as photographs, bread, flowers, toys and other things the person liked.  They typically have four elements to them: earth, wind, fire and water. Earth is usually represented with soil, stones, or pottery and wind is represented with the papel picado tissue flags (which I find interesting because in Hebrew, the word for wind is also the word for spirit). Fire is usually represented with candles that symbolize the soul of the loved one and help them find their way to return. Water is usually found on the altar to help quench the thirst of the loved one after they make the journey to visit.  Any family can build an altar for Dia de los Muertos as a fun way to teach the children in their family about their ancestors. 
I loved that they had a community altar where participants could leave remembrances of their ancestors.  And the marigolds (traditional flowers) were gorgeous and everywhere. 
All throughout the weekend there were performances, kids up on stage, etc.  We saw an awesome group that recreated Aztec dancing. They were fascinating. 

This would be a spectacular celebration to pass down your heritage with your family.  Especially if you come from a culture that celebrates Dia de los Muertos, but even if you don't.  There were lots of children's activities, face painting, sugar skull decorating, paper flag cutting, etc.  It is a great time to remember your ancestors, have fun with the children in your family and get together and celebrate the lives of those who came before you.  Enjoy. 

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