Happy Halloween, ya'll! This year, since I'm already in bed and definitely not making any effort to trick-or-treat, I figured I'd share some snaps from last weekend's adventure to the Dia de los Muertos festival at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
I am all about having a new cultural experience, and one that includes skeletons, butterflies, and facepaint is TOTALLY up my alley!
Dia de los Muertos isn't actually until 1-2 November, but the festival was held on Saturday (and is often celebrated alongside of Halloween). It is similar to Halloween in that it is a very old holiday (several thousand years) and while people do dress up and offer food (to their deceased loved ones) the belief is that on the Dia de los Muertos, family members and loved ones who are deceased can re-join their families.
Dia de los Muertos is a Latino holiday (not just a Mexican holiday) that centers around the creation of symbolic alters to honor those who have passed. Offering (la ofrenda) are made to the deceased and may consist of "pan de muerto" (bread of the dead), which is round to represent the circle of life, but offerings may extend to complete meals, cigarettes, tequila, or as I saw on one alter: Starbucks.
As I often tend to feel when I participate in a cultural event that is outside of my own culture, it is important to remember that the Dia de los Muertos is an ancient indigenous tradition. I did get my face painted, which was once considered a way to ward off death, but is now more of a mainstream tradition, but I was also trying to honor my own deceased loved ones (a best friend, a step-sister, 2 cousins, and a grandmother) along with all of the other lost friends and family members who were being remembered.
All in all, it was a great celebration... interesting both in which to partake and to watch...