Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dia de Los Muertos

On a trip to Mexico a few years back I fell in love with Mexican folk art and the rich traditions celebrated in that beautiful country. My favorite is Dia de Los Muertos, the celebration that takes place between October 29th and November 2nd in cemeteries across Mexico. Families gather to honor and celebrate the lives of those who have passed. Graves are decorated with flowers and alters, loved ones dance and paint their faces in skeletal black and white to pay tribute to the dead. The tradition has been practiced for over 3,000 years, first by Aztecs, and later when the Spaniards arrived it was combined with Catholic theology. The Aztecs believed death was the continuation of life and instead of fearing death they celebrated it.

One of my favorite stores in New York is La Sirena, Spanish for "The Mermaid". A tiny hole in the wall that’s packed with traditional Mexican Folk Art.  Frida Kahlo alters, bright paper banners and skulls galore (skulls symbolize death and rebirth in Aztec culture). I get lost among the rich colors and beautiful craftsmanship. I can't wait to celebrate and dance the night away. Some events listed below. 

                            

So cute!
Papel Picado banners 
Decorated altars 

Altar at Hecho en Dumbo on Bowery, NYC


Events:

Date: October 29 – 31
Time: Events throughout the day
Location: St. Mark’s Church (10th Street & 2nd Ave New York, NY)
Workshops, dancing and altar competition (www.manoamano.us).

Date: October 30
Time: 12:30-4:30pm
Location: Newark Museum (49 Washington Street Newark, NJ)
Performances, workshops, treats and altars

Date: October 30
Time: 12-5pm
Location: National Museum of the American Indian (1 Bowling Green New York, NY)
Hands on workshops, storytelling and dance performances.

Date: November 1st
Time: 3:30-5:30pm
Location: La Sirena Mexican Folk Art (27 East 3rd Street New York, NY)
Artist Kai Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano will be demonstrating the art of Papel Picado. The ancient tradition of cutting or punching paper which is most recognized in banner form used for celebrations

Date: November 2-20
Time: 7-10pm
Location: Tropico de Nopal Gallery (1665 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA)
Alter-installations exhibit

Date: November 6
Time: 8:30pm
Location: Tropico de Nopal Gallery (1665 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA)
Calavera Fashion Show & Walking Altars

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