Sunday, October 13, 2013


I have decided that I like the Mexican holiday “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) much better than I do our own Halloween.  Actually, I don’t celebrate either of them, but I do like the creativity and the figural representations and the pomp, if you can call it that, that surrounds the Mexican Holiday.  And oh! the colors!

I recognize that the origins of both holidays are religious in nature, but that doesn’t play into my thinking at all.  And I suspect the prominence that deceased family members have in the Mexican holiday observance is what makes a natural connection to my interest in those old family connections I’ve dug up (no pun intended) in my genealogical research. 

Once past the stage of going trick-or-treating and later the participation in ghoulish and/or creepy Halloween parties, I don’t see much to be delighted in over Halloween.  I will say this:  On October 1 I removed a little blue scarf I had tied to the crook of the cane I take with me when I walk and made a little Halloween decoration using a couple of black fabric roses and an orange ribbons, so it isn’t like I’m ditching my connection to Halloween (see above), but oh my goodness, it seems that el Dia de Los Muertos celebrations and exhibits here in Southern California are just getting bigger and better.

The Halloween Gallery I recently visited at Rogers Gardens in Corona Del Mar was what I consider a blend of the two traditions.  Some of the offerings were definitely Halloweenish and others definitely Day of the Deadish.  I liked them both. 

Wonderful sugar skulls.  Who would think to decorate like this?  Not me, but I might give it a try, using this as a pattern.
More on the Halloweenish side are the black cats.  Ferocious looking, but quite ..... well, charming isn't exactly the word, but I certainly do like them!

Ah, look at the great colors.  This is definitely not OUR Halloween skull but was certainly a tribute to the typical Dia de Los Muertos style.

Are these not pumpkins to clamor for?   It's hard in this picture to see that the designs are made of chains of black sequins.  Yes, we could do it with orange pumpkins too and make this a bit more Halloweenish.

I couldn't pass this most woebegone vulture up.  Can't you just see him sitting on  your porch helping you give out candy to Trick-or-Treaters?  I just fell in love with this fellow.

And finally, for all the world to see this funny face, I'm grimacing at the owl on my shoulder.  Now he was downright cute, and as a matter of fact he DID have two eyes (and still does, I think; the second eye is just not picked up by the camera.) 
It's accurate to say we had a wonderful time at Rogers Gardens.  If it wasn't such a long drive to get there (some 60 miles) I'd go again.  This time I would come home with the colorful plate (which incidentally cost an arm and a leg!) and probably one of the cats. 
But now I have the Ontario Museum's annual Dia de Los Muertos display to look forward to.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that more artists will participate than in the previous couple of years and I'll once again be amazed at what I see.
NOTE:  In case you see strange things like white backgrounds and green bars in this blog, just pretend they are not there.  I've had nothing but problems with my computer since I accepted AOL's offer of a new version (9.7).  It has become a real miracle if I can even open AOL now, and this blog only appears after trying for 3 hours to make it have pictures in it.  So take it for what's it's worth; it's the best I can do until AOL gets the problem fixed.  If everything looks proper, attribute it to the good fairy!

1 comment:

Olga said...

Halloween seems to have become a bigger and bigger deal over the years, but it doesn't excite me. I do buy a bag of candy just in case we get a trick-or-treater...although we never have in twenty years.