Dia de Muertos — The Day of the Dead!

October 25th, 2013 · No Comments

by Jane St Clair

The Day of the Dead — or Dia de Muertos, as they call it in Tucson– comes immediately after Halloween, but it’s actually much spookier. Every year hundreds of people gather at night for the very very spooky parade.
Tucson Skull on Day of the Dead1

Skeletons rise out of their graves– and they walk around, looking much the worse for wear. On the Day of the Dead, they eat and play cards …

Day of the Dead Ghost with Parasol

They dance —
Dancing on the Day of the Dead1

And some even play in orchestrasSkeletons on Day of the Dead Parade

While I always like the kiddie party trick-or-treat spirit of Halloween, the grotesque images of the Day of the Dead used to creep me out. I mean…   SKELETONS! And GHOSTS! Two ghosts in Dia los Muertos

Then a friend who was born in Mexico but grew up in Arizona in the rich traditions of our neighboring country, took the time to explain Dia de Muertos to me. When someone we love dies, we miss them so much! she said. Our uncles, our aunts, our grandmothers and grandfathers — all of them. We miss them and wish every day they were here.

Day of the Dead Skeletons on parade

But on Dia de Muertos, we imagine them back with us again for one more happy day. We have dinner with them! We play cards together! We dance! And we tell jokes!

Remembering on the Day of the Dead But mostly, we are so happy to be together one more time. Right before Dia de Muertos, we prepare their favorite foods and pull out their favorite games and sometimes even clothes so that they used to like to wear. This way, they will be sure to come see us. We look forward to Dia de Muertos every single year!Ghost in Dia Los Muertos

It was the Aha! moment for me. What a cool idea – how accepting and loving to think even though my Great-Aunt Charlotte may be a skeleton now, she is happy where she is. She could stop by to see me from time to time.  People honoring those they love! A dog honored on Day of the Dead This celebration is so jolly that some people even remember their pets! And of course, no Arizona cowboy never ever forgets his favorite horse on the Day of the Dead or any day, for that matter.Cowboy Remembering a Horse on Day of the Dead 2

Yo, Aunt Charlotte! Party down one more time! Viva la Dia de Muertos!Tucson Dia de Muertos Parade

For more information about the November 2-3,2013 Parade in Tucson, see 2014 All Souls’ Procession

Tags: Arizona · Arizona photography · AZ · Day of the Dead · Dia de Muertos · Jane St. Clair · Oro Valley