A few days after death, the memorial service and a luncheon most return to their homes, their lives and their jobs – leaving all who are touched by this loss to hold their grief in silence and in solitude – or at least is the case throughout much of the United States, Canada and Europe.
Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a Mexican tradition is an annual event to celebrate and remember those who have passed. In Mexican culture it is believed that the deceased arrive for a visit each year on October 31st and depart on November 2nd. During these days families construct altars of rememberance which include bread and other objects shaped as skulls, marigolds, incense, candles, a photo of the departed and other items of personal significance.
Denver Botanic Gardens hosted a Dia de los Muertos celebration on November 1st. The Botanic Gardens are a particularly good location to have these festivities as a Denver cemetery was once on their land. Activities included altars to the departed, traditional performances, sugar skull decorating and color in all directions. The festivity was in the air, as were the somber reminders of those we have lost, the fragility of life and the importance of remembering it all.
(Interested in future Denver Botanic Gardens activities? Check out their Holiday Sale Preview Party on 11/14 or the sale open to the public 11/15 – 11/16.)