Dia de los Muertos is a celebration for the dead held once a year in the
midst of life. Birmingham's annual Day of the Dead Festival is very much a celebration of life and a joyful and beautiful event where we pay homage and respects to our dearly departed by celebrating their lives with music, dance, art, food, spirits, laughter, joy and tears...it is a blessed and sacred day of REMEMBRANCE.
Festival Patrons are invited to create alters of remembrance for their dearly departed.
The alters are lavish, eclectic and "folksy".
It really is a work of art in homage to loved ones.
Their life, played out through art of various forms....
Here my friends Zinnia (Princess Warrior) and Sweet Melissa are looking at the alters.
Melissa and I both got into the spirit by painting our faces in the traditional paint of day of the dead.
Think Happy Skeletons. You will see many people with painted faces at the festival...
And the festival takes on a whole new "life" if you will.
Traditional Latin food is available at the festival, just as it is in Mexico. But at the festival we attended, the classic American standards are also available. Zinnia and Melissa enjoyed some authentic tamales..
I think not.
There were firepits throughout the festival to warm bones.
Butterflys are used alot throughout the festival, for their significance to living one life before going to sleep for a while, renewing a body then awaking to a newly restored life.
After the dancing is a Roll Call celebration, where a departed loved one’s name to the memorial roll call. A representative it is asked you try to be present to answer “here” or “present” on their behalf when the roll is read at approximately 6:55pm.
Following the roll is the Muertos Dixieland Jazz Procession...This year I added the names of friends and family who have passed on. It was nice to hear their names read aloud in the celebration to honor their life. I think as often as we speak of them, say their names, they continue to be a part of our lives.
Following the roll call, the Jazz Funeral Procession...
If you ever have a chance to go to a Dia de los Muertos, I suggest you go. Its a wonderful family event!