Tucson’s Day of the Dead – Dia de Muertos- Parade

October 16th, 2014 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

The Day of the Dead — or Dia de Muertos, as we call it in Tucson– comes after Halloween, but it’s even spookier. Every year hundreds of people gather downtown at night for the very very spooky All Souls Procession.
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 liked 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 grew up in Mexico took the time to explain Dia de Muertos to me. When someone we love dies, she said, we miss them so much! 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, they can come back to us for one more happy day. We have dinner with them! We play cards! We dance! And we tell jokes! We party again!

Remembering on the Day of the Dead But mostly, we are just 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 visit us. 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 now be a skeleton, she is happy where she is. She could stop by to see me on Dia de Muertos.

People honoring all 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 2014 All Souls Procession Parade in Tucson, see 2014 All Souls’ Procession

Tags: All Souls Procession Tucson · Arizona · Arizona photography · AZ · Day of the Dead · Dia de Muertos · Jane St. Clair · Tucson · Tucson Tourist Events