Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dia de los Muertos 2016

This weekend at the Desert Botanical Gardens they were having the Procession and Mercado for Dia de los Muertos.   I particularly didn't want to miss it this year and decided to Enjoy Brunch in the Gardens at 'Gertrude's Restaurant' Al Fresco.

I had to go on Saturday Afternoon since I work the late shift Sundays now at our Antique Mall.  The Young Prince was at another Competition for the State Finals and both Princess T and The Man were rather fussy that day and opted not to attend.  *Whew!*

Yes, I dodged a bullet there, they had worked thru their Moods by the time I returned that Evening, which was a relief.  I've learned not to take them when they would be determined not to have an Enjoyable time, since it ruins any Outing for everyone and is too High Maintenance for me.

This year was particularly Symbolic for me since Mom had just recently passed days beforehand, they knew this.   So I was actually relieved to go alone and have the Symbolism of the Experience Touch my Spirit without anyone running interference.

Dia de los Muertos was something Mom had Enjoyed the Festivities of as much as we do because it is reminiscent of Celtic Cultural Honoring of their departed.  The Gaelic Culture Celebrates Samhain which is All Hallows Eve on October 31st and then All Saints Day on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd. So it is strikingly similar in Tradition and Ritual in many ways.

I would say less flamboyant, but we're talking about Mom and I, so that word would not describe anything we ever did, especially together and particularly when we were Celebrating anything!  *Smiles*

For Mom it was considered a liminal time, when the veil between life and death grown thin.  Food is set aside for ancestors and protective spirits and rituals honoring the dead take place.  {In fact most Halloween Rituals and Traditions come from Ancient Celtic Cultural Practices and the early Christian Church embraced it to win converts.}

So we personally never saw anything spooky or against our Faith in Celebrating as we do, and paying Homage to our departed Loved Ones, even if others don't fully understand it nor embrace it themselves, to each his own as my Mom would say.

It was a very pleasant day, very Sunny and Hot, not at all like a late Autumn day really and I didn't mind that one bit.   Sitting outside on the Restaurant Patio I Enjoyed a delicious leisurely Brunch.  When you don't have Children in tow you actually can eat your food while it's still Hot!  *LOL*

I could linger and have Solemn contemplative Moments to myself along the Garden Paths.   Mingle with the Procession Participants, take my time perusing the Mercado Booths filled with Foods and Art Created just for this Celebration.

Listen to the Musicians and Singers... watch the Performances of the various Dance Troupes... talk with the Artists and Vendors... without anyone whining or dictating how the day would play out.   Yes, I Enjoyed the Freedom of that very much and the Solitude.

When I attend any Celebration, Festival or Event I want to be able to do it the way I want to do it, but I don't often have that Luxury.   So when ever I do, it's Sublime.   If you have unlimited Freedom to do as you please for yourself most days, never, ever take that for Granted!

There was no budget, alas, to make any Purchases this day to enlarge my Collection of Dia de los Muertos Altar pieces.   These Catrinas were really Special so I Hope to see this Vendor again sometime when budget permits an indulgence.   The prices were quite reasonable at most Booths.

But even the spendier items really were catching my Eye... like these Talavera Sun Faces.   I wouldn't mind splurging for one of these some day for our Courtyard since I have many Talavera Pots holding my Herb Garden plants.

Perhaps when we make another Trip to Mexico to visit Family we'll have to look for some there to make it more affordable.   I'm Hopeful that in 2017 and now that I've Adopted The G-Kid Force, getting Passports will now be easy for the Kids.

The Ofrendas now were filling up with those items of folks making Pilgrimages to place the Photos and Notes to their departed Loved Ones on the Altars.  That had been the Primary Mission for my Journey this day, to add mine.

Every year that we have sustained a Loss of a Loved One, be they Human or Fur Baby, we have placed them upon the Public Dia de los Muertos Altars with our Notes to them that year of their Passing in Remembrance... and to dedicate their individual departure to the Afterlife.

It is so Spiritual and Heart Warming to see all of the Ofrendas filling up with the Photos, the Notes and the Butterflies Created for and dedicated to each person's departed Loved Ones.

The Ofrendas were also filling up with Food and Drinks, Incense and Salt, Marigolds... and whatever else might be Meaningful to the Dearly Departed.  It is so Touching to see what people leave behind for their dedications to those they Love and have Lost.

It filled me up with such Emotion... in a Good way.  To know that this year Mom had joined them all and gotten her Wings was so profound a Moment for me as I stood there before the Altar.

And as I joined others at the tables where we were Creating our Loved One's Butterfly to add to this year's Ofrenda.  There were Young and Old, some Losses were Fresh, others from past Seasons, but no less Meaningful since the Love goes on forever.

The Templates for the Butterfly Wings are either Female Silhouettes or Male Silhouettes, Dog Silhouettes or Cat Silhouettes.   So if you look closely you can see that Mom's is the Female Silhouette shaping her Butterfly's Wings.

The hole punch outs are Symbolic of the Years she spent here on this Earth and of coarse my Note to her as I Release her from this Realm to the one she will now spend Eternity in.   I felt rather like I did as a Child Creating a piece of Art just for her Symbolizing our Love for one another.

Yes, when I see Butterflies I often think of all of our departed Loved Ones and of the Metamorphosis that takes place from Birth to Death.  We each will have that Metamorphosis, it's very Grounding to Contemplate that Fact.

It is also very therapeutic to engage in Traditions and Rituals that have Meaning for you.  If you don't yet have any, Adopt some, whichever you find or Feel a Connection to.  You needn't have been Raised with a particular one to still Enjoy it wholeheartedly.

I remember my Mom saying she Adopted many different Customs, Traditions and Rituals along her long Life Journey and many Travels to other Cultures and Countries.  Sure, she kept those she was Raised in and of her own Culture very near and dear to her Heart and taught us about why we had them passed down.

She and Dad gave us the Freedom to Adopt or Reject any we wished, because it really should have Meaning in a Personal way and be Significant, or why do it?   There is nothing more Empty than Celebrating anything that has absolutely no Meaning or Significance for you.  I wouldn't even understand why someone would?

I'm very Glad that my Mom Adopted and Celebrated many Traditions and Rituals that were American, like our Thanksgiving, and incorporated them into her own Life Journey even though she hadn't been raised with that Holiday or Celebration in North Wales.

I'm also Thankful that she taught us about hers and passed some down for us to Adopt and incorporate into our Life Journey too.   I'm Thankful that Dad did as well, it Grounded me to my Cultural Heritage beyond being an American, to Embrace all that I am Culturally.  We've also Adopted other Cultural Celebrations since we're a very blended Family and the rich diversity is something we wholeheartedly Celebrate.

I'm Thankful for the Exposure... to different Lands, different People, different Cultures, different Foods, Celebrations, Traditions, Rituals, Holy Days and Holidays from around the World... it has Enriched us greatly.

And as I prepared to leave and looked back at Mom's Butterfly flying upwards there on the Ofrenda, along with all of the others, I am reminded that really there are no 'OTHERS'.   We all are born and we all will die, that commonality of Man and Beast Unifies us in the grand scheme of things.


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. I am so happy that you got to do that for your mom. I have just started collecting Day of the Dead. I know nothing abouth them so your post was very informative.

    1. I'm so glad you have started a significant Collection that you are desiring to know more about. I think you will very much Enjoy Creating an Ofrenda with your Collection of Dia de los Muertos objects to display along with the Season of Celebrating it. I just picked up a Lovely Catrina Cat 50% off Today to add to our Altar, over the years we have had so many Beloved Cats... only one is still with us and we remember all the rest fondly and miss each of them. Thanks for stopping by... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. How beautiful the Celebration of Dia de los Muertos, and I am glad to see that more people (including myself) are becoming familiarized with the customs and rituals associated with honoring our loved ones now departed. How I wish that we had this as part of our traditions growing up. . .I especially love the color and the art and the meaning behind some of the rituals. Thank you so much for sharing this, Dawn. Beautiful photographs, too!

    1. I know many people who feel as you do, that it would be a wonderful part of growing up with such meaningful Traditions and Rituals performed throughout one's Lifetime. My Grandchildren appreciate that we explain the significance of what we Celebrate as a Family and it is my Hope that they will pass down the Traditions for many more generations to come. It is important for me that they do not fear death nor the Spirit Realm, Energy never dies, it just changes form and is part of the Metamorphosis every living creature has in common. Thank you for coming by for the Celebration... Dawn... The Bohemian

  3. Many years ago I lived in a wonderfully diverse community and discovered Dia de los Muertos there. I always loved the celebration although it was very modest compared to yours. Thanks for sharing your beautiful day!

    1. Whether Celebrated Modestly or Full On *smiles* isn't it Nice to discover the various diverse Celebrations within one's Communities? I enjoy living in diverse neighborhoods since it exposes us to so much more than we might have ever known. Thanks for coming to Celebrate our Beautiful Day with us here in the Land of Blog. I'm sure Burt and Ivy would feel right at Home during this particular Celebration! *winks* ... Dawn... The Bohemian


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl