Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dia De Los Muertos Festival in Old Mesilla

This weekend is the Dia De Los Mertos Festival on the Old Mesilla plaza....we went today and will go again tomorrow after church. It was very interesting! Dia De Los Muertos is All Souls Day and is on November 2. All Saints Day is November 1st.

We thought that the vendors would be the same ones that are there for the Farmers' Market on Fridays and Sundays...but these vendors sold skull and skeleton items, which symbolizes death and rebirth. The skeletons are often dressed in everyday garb and are depicted in daily routines, ie. bride and groom, dentist, mother, etc. They are often rather humerous, which I think is part of the celebration of life and death. There are also paintings of skulls and skeletons. There are alters lining the entire plaza to honor loved ones and celebrate deceased lives well lived. Along with pictures of the deceased on the alters, there are items that were loved by the deceased, as well as food items and candles.
There was also a large memorial for the brave souls who lost their lives in Iraq...this took up the entire plaza.
I don't know if it's my age or maybe my mind is getting mushy, but I teared up several times as we walked among to altars and saw bits and pieces of lives once lived. There were also memorials for children lost to child abuse...59 children in New Mexico lost their lives from 2000 to 2009. Tomorrow is more of the same, along with mariachi bands. Monday is a procession to the San Albino cemetary.

It's been a fascinating journey so far into the beliefs and traditions of the people of New Mexico and we look forward to continuing this journey throughout our stay and into Arizona.

H&K 2 AJ, KB, LG, and LC! And a special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful niece Alicia!

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