Day of The Dead

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

As some o you might know I like the bizarre. I like things that are not common. Common is so boring. I can’t help it but that’s how I’ve always been and that how I will always be. Unlike many I don’t try to be different. It’s not something I do to be “cool”.
I could care less about what people think of me. I have plenty of people around me that are friends and that I love. I don’t need more.

When I was six I saw my first horror movie.
The original Nosferatu. I loved it. I was glued to the screen. I loved the music. The bizarre creature intrigued me. Needless to say I never knocked on my parents door to complain about monsters under the bed. I was hooked.

So my favorite day a year is Day of the Dead. I love how in the Mexican culture a person is remembered in a positive way. Unlike the catholic way where we grief and don’t dare to celebrate ones life. Not only did I like this approach, I also loved the decorations used for this day. Some might call it macabre but I lie this type of art and am now a good collector.

So this year I was really looking forward to the celebration at Hollywood Forever. It is a great cemetery and at night with the music and lights it is amazing. By the time we arrived (after a one hour search for parking) there already had been 25 000 people.

In short, this year was the last year we attended this celebration. It is weird how sometimes things become so big they become a parody of themselves. That is the case with the Day of the Dead celebration at Hollywood Forever.
Not only has the fest grown larger and larger over time, it lost more and more of it’s traditional appeal.

The cemetery used to be dark with occasional lighting, the trees were lit up in various colors adding to the grim atmosphere. This year there were many
Large white lights, flushing away the light of many alters. Many alters were decorated with cheap plastic Walmart decorations, replacing the crafty ceramic and paper mâché characters.
This was my 9th year and over the year I became friends with some of the families who returned year after year, sharing their stories of their husbands, wives, grandparents, children. We shared stories, drank Tequila together and listened to some music.
I was great to be exposed to such a positive approach to death.

PS: that’s how I want to be remembered as my time comes, music, tequila and good times.

This year I did not meet any of the families that had been there for the last years. The fest has become to commercial. The spirit of the festival has been traded in for money. Alters erected by sponsors ( fricking Nescafé) really didn’t help me enjoying the fest.

Sometimes things become a parody of themselves. And you need to let go.
I was pretty disappointed. But I’m thankful for all the good times of the past. The next pictures are from a wonderful celebration in 2009.
Thank you and remember those you loved who are no longer here.
Cheers

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Comments
  1. Sorry to here of the consumerism-ication of this event, Chris. But Happy All Hallow’s Eve!

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