Dia de los Muertos is a beautiful celebration that shows respect and love for our ancestors. These traditions are a way to remember and honor those who are departed but never forgotten. Honoring the dead is a sacred tradition in many parts of the world. In Africa, ancestors are honored and revered through the process of pouring ceremonial libation. In Korea, favorite dishes are provided to feed the spirit of the departed on every anniversary of their death. These traditions are usually practiced in the home but today many of our scientific and cultural organizations honor this tradition with beautiful festivals and celebrations.
This year our local independent mortgage company, Fairway, in Green Valley Ranch, honored the rich diversity of our community and their staff with a gorgeous display of tradition, heritage, and respect for the ancestors. After a Dia de los Muertos event at Su Teatro, we were heading home when I saw a sign that said, “Day of the Dead Celebration Today!” I was surprised and pulled into the parking lot to check it out.
When we entered we were surprised to find the staff beautifully dressed in black with lovely calavera or skeleton face paint. It was so beautiful to see the staff celebrating their culture and the culture of the community at this event. There were traditional foods and the photos on the altar were of the families of the staff. Culture is beautiful, it was made to be shared and celebrated together, so our children will learn to honor and respect other cultures.
When we lived in Cambridge, England, the children and I were dazzled by the candlelit ceremony held just outside in the museum courtyard. It was chilly and the dancers ignored the cold and performed traditional dances and in a beautiful finale danced with lit candles atop their heads. As we sat watching their performance, so many miles across the ocean, it was a beautiful reminder that culture travels inside us, we carry it everywhere we go, it is a light in the darkness always leading us home.