Los Dias de Muertos

By: Contributor
30 October, 2017

Dias de Los Muertos, the Days of the Dead, will be celebrated and hosted at The Taos Artist Collective Oct. 29th-Nov. 2nd. Works by members of the gallery will be on display. An altar, facing the window along Paseo del Pueblos Norte, will feature notable and remembered artists, activists and people who have contributed to Taos. Inside, an altar will be set up for all to display, light a candle and REMEMBER. The community altar is offered to all who want to participate on Nov. 1st, Wednesday, 5-7 p.m. Please bring photos, candles, offerings and food to share.

For more information, call Debra Villalobos, 575-613-3766.

The Days of the Dead

By Debra Villalobos

In Mexico, and from the Aztec especially, it is said: “There are three times one dies: the first time the soul leaves the body, secondly when the body is put into the ground, and the third when people forget.” May we never forget.

Most people associate the “Day of the Dead” with Halloween. In fact the USA has adopted many traditions from other, older cultures and countries, from Mexico and the Druids to create a commercialized holiday.

For many years, I have tried to bring the Mexican culture into the realm of what I can understand about death. The Mexican culture has helped me most with how I might help myself, and others, deal with death.

There is not just one day of the dead, but five. “Los Dias de Muertos”.

Beginning on Oct. 29th.

The descansos, (decorated crosses on the highways one might see, in almost every state now), are for the memory of the people that have been lost to highway accidents. Some may involve circumstances that are not just accidental, but still the loss of their soul (where the soul actually left the body) at the site is what is being commemorated.

On Oct. 30th

The day to commemorate those who have been murdered, or have committed suicide, as they are considered “unrested” souls. Offerings of food and other various offerings or memories are not on an altar inside the house, rather, outside.

Oct 31st

The day for deceased children. Of that cultural day from Mexico, (along with the Druid culture, of which I know little) we Americans created our Halloween. Once the people from the villages have decorated their cemeteries and painted head stones, adorned the entrances of the graveyard (this takes weeks before the 29th of October), they cover the childs’ grave with dried marigold petals, and then sprinkle them to lead to the home, so they will find their way. A home altar is filled with toys and favorite food from the deceased, and children are invited to play with the toys of the child who has died.

November 1st

All villagers go to the cemeteries, light candles, sit with each other, pray, eat, but most of all remember and speak with others who have known those who have passed. Laughter in sharing stories is not unusual. Tears flow as well.

November 2nd

All spirits are sent their way back to the ever beyond…until next year. Altars and pictures stored away.

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