Passions of an Odd Chick

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day of the Dead

I've gotten mixed reaction about Day of the Dead stuff. This is a large acrylic that I painted for my daughter. She will hang this in her pink and black kitchen!!

"The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to the indigenous peoples such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mexican, Aztec, Maya, P'urhépecha, and Totonac. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2500–3000 years. In the pre-Hispanic era, it was common to keep skulls as trophies and display them during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.
The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the "Lady of the Dead," corresponding to the modern Catrina." ( thanks Wiklipedia)(see the watercolor sketch i did yesterday, painted from a picture of Catrinas on Wiklipedia)

Many people who actually celebrate this holiday believe that the souls of the dead will have better opportunity to visit the living. So they go to the cemeteries and make altars, take flowers, toys to dead children and talk to and about the dead. It can take a humorous tone as people relate funny stories about their dead relatives.

I know, I know, it sounds very pagan- but think about it. It's just about doing something that all who have lost a loved one wish for - One more day. It's just a people that act out their secret longing to see and talk and remember those that have passed into the other realm. It's my belief that the dead are not coming back until they are called by Someone who owns the dead. And then those of us who lay in cemeteries will have the wildest awakening you can imagine. And the cemeteries will look like Grand Central Station.

But until then, live until you die. And then, my prayer is that you live again.

10 comments:

Karin said...

I love it - all! Your paintings are so wonderful, quirky, happy, and full of the life that I get from Dia de los Meurtos. For me, learning about the day of the dead celebrations shifted my whole perspective on how to honor loved ones passing. While I understand the need and comfort for funerals and wakes, they've just left me cold. But having this yearly alternative? Works for me! Witnessing the celebrations in Mexico is something I'll never forget!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I don't really get into the mainstream Halloween stuff, but Day of the Dead doesn't bother me. I guess that's because I still occasionally talk to those who've gone one before.

I love this painting.

Patti said...

Love your DoD works - I made an ofrenda this year for my aunt who passed away this summer (I posted a photo on my blog on October 14); it is a wonderful celebration and I learned a lot about it when the director/owner of my daughter's ballet studio choreographed an entire ballet - Dia de los Muertos - bilingual, as she is from Mexico. The skeleton dance was my favorite:)
p.s. we're Presbyterians:)

Steve Emery said...

I like this! I can't picture it in my kitchen... but that has something to do with bones, hygiene, etc...

I have transitioned gradually in recent years from thinking DoD celebrations were weird, to understanding and relating somewhat. Still not sure I would participate, but I think I get it.

linda said...

I love this..especially your color choices!

Deborah Ross said...

Even though this celebrates the Day of the Dead, it's very lively! Love your colors, also the dog. Very imaginative, like all your work.

redchair said...

I really like your Hallow's Eve ghoulies. They're great fun! Especially the fuzzy pink slippers. Cracked me up.
Vikki

a mouthy irish-catholic woman said...

BEAUTIFUL PAINTING! again.

one of my closest friends is venezuelan, her birthday is the day of the dead. i love the sentiment behind the honor of the day. and your paitings capture it beautifully!

pagan schmagen, can't we all get along?

Sandi said...

I really love this painting. I heard a phrase last night which somehow rings true - "the veil is thin between the spirit world and this side" on 31 Oct. Interesting.

YogaforCynics said...

I think this day of the dead stuff is great...and a nice counterpoint to the way we look (or refuse to look) at death in the USA....