Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Día de los Muertos

Halloween is right around the corner (which reminds me that I need to start decorating!). Day of the Dead is coming up as well. This two-day festival takes place every November 1st and 2nd, and though it falls close to Halloween, it is quite a different holiday with different customs and history.

If you are not familiar, Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the memory of those who have died. It is focused on gathering family and friends and honoring their deceased loved ones.

During the "Days of the Dead", some believe that the souls of the departed return to Earth to visit their families. It is not a somber time. In fact, it is just the opposite. It is a time when Mexicans happily and lovingly celebrate the memories of loved ones who are now gone. It is a time to remember not how the person died, but how they lived. Celebrating the Day of the Dead is a true celebration of life!

As part of these celebrations in Mexico, the streets are filled with flowers and candles, candy skeletons and sugar skulls, and altars are prepared with offerings of food and drink to the dearly departed.

I just adore the aesthetic of the Day of the Dead, and the hauntingly beautiful way in which the deceased are portrayed. Those of you who know me, know that I have a bit of an affinity for all things dark and macabre, creative and surreal.

A couple of years ago, I did a "Day of the Dead" photo shoot, with makeup inspired by the paintings of Sylvia Ji. The makeup application process was captured on camera and turned into a stop-motion video. Super cool. Click below to view!

The final images are here:

On the topic of Day of the Dead, I am excited to see The Book of Life - a 3D animated film directed by Jorge Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro. Having only seen the trailer, I am already in love with the gorgeous visuals and genuine charm of this movie. The Book of Life is to Día de los Muertos what 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' is to, well, Christmas (and Halloween). It is playing in theaters now!

Whether you celebrate the Day of the Dead, or Halloween, or Christmas, or Kwanzaa.. celebrate well. Celebrate LIFE!

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