Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dia de los Muertos aka Day of the Dead Festival

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 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...

This lovely lady is standing in front of the alter she created for her loved ones...

Love her feather lashes!

Our loved ones being remembered can also include pets...

Melissa is taking it all in....

This kind gentleman was a photographer, who wanted to take our photograph!

There were lots of pretty painted people to photograph...

The sun sets....

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..
Pork and Chicken. The pork received four thumbs up.

Spirits enjoyed spirits.... And in my case an ice cold sprite. :) In a Kenny Chesney cup no less.
The cups were extras from a concert. However I like to think that my loved ones were treating me to a lil something special. I mean, coincidental?

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.

The remembrance moves into traditional dancing...

These young girls were balancing actual firelit candles atop their heads as they danced.

After the dancing is a Roll Call celebrationwhere 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...

I love this shot of the festival!
Can you guess why?


If you ever have a chance to go to a Dia de los Muertos, I suggest you go. Its a wonderful family event!

(Click on any pictures to make larger. Please do not photo share without permission)


4thelove! said...

oooh I cant even believe I missed it! Such neat shots!!!!!!! ~HM

Anonymous said...

Great shots!!! Spooky and scary!

Scribbler said...

Wow, I had no idea this was happening in Birmingham.

It looks like a lot of fun, as well as meaningful on a deeper level. Thanks for sharing.


Erin @ How to Nest for Less said...

WOW! Those photos are AMAZING!! Looks like a blast :)

Curtains In My Tree said...

Now thats a great party with a meaning

I think I could join in that party
since it includes family that was so close to use also my lillte pugs who have passed over