“Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves. Dia de Los Muertos was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.” (Wikipedia)
In Los Angeles, where about half of the population are Mexican or of Mexican descent, Dia de Los Muertos is a huge thing, with festivals happening in several areas of the city. I had never been to one, although I was fascinated by the concept, the rituals, the make up and costumes people wear, the vibrant colors and the spirit of the day. This year I found out that Santa Monica holds a celebration at its beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery, so I went. It’s a wonderful tradition and I loved everything about it. No wonder Mexicans are so proud of this tradition. Next year I hope to attend the festival at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is a mega event, with over 50,000 people attending.