Monday, November 9, 2009

Dia de los Muertos

Yesterday, in Tucson Arizona. The annual All Souls Procession parade took place on 4th Avenue. Created by local artist Susan Johnson in 1990, she was inspired to remember and celebrate the passing of her father, through art, and to recreate the celebration of festivals that have taken place in Mexico for thousands of years.

This ritual is called Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The indigenous people of Mexico created this colorful celebration to remember, honor, mourn, and pray for the souls of their passed on loved ones. Since we are so close to Mexico, this celebration has ventured over to the people living in the valley and to nearby towns in Arizona, and it's surrounding states for many years. It is a big part of the cultural history here. We in Tucson, have this very similar celebration, which is called the All Souls Procession.

Thousands of Tucson participants join in the ancient spiritual celebration, to exercise their creativity, by using Dia de los Muertos inspired skull masks, floats, Mexico inspired costumes and any other pieces that represent the passing of their loved ones. The "lady & man of the dead" and sugar skull masks are the most familiar images to this celebration. The sugar skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth. The creativity and design of each individual skull was used to honor a loved one. They were called sugar skulls, because they were made of a candy substance and then eaten by a relative of the family. The indigenous people of Mexico believed that death was not the end of life. Rather that the celebration of death, was the continuation of life. They did not fear death, but rather celebrated and embraced it.

You can see a lot of the Dia de los Muertos art displayed all around these days. It has become a popular form of Mexican folk art on symbols, figurines, paintings, logos, tattoos, etc. This is just a brief overview of the rich history and culture of Day of the Dead. If you are interested in a detailed outline, here is a good website to research. If you are ever in Tucson around early November, make sure to check out this celebration. It gets bigger every year, and is full of fascinating creativity and culture. One of my favorite parts of the parade is when the Mariachi's play. I just love to listen to the sweet serenade of mariachi music.

Here are some pictures we took before this years event started. My son wanted to have his face painted like a sugar skull. I don't have a fancy camera yet (just a point & shoot), so by the time the parade and the grand finale took place. My camera was not cooperating with the lighting, movements, and such. Here is the website to the event organizers page. Hopefully, there will be some great pictures and videos posted. Our good friends Jennifer and Justin, who own The Shady Dell Vintage Trailer Park down in Bisbee, AZ were excited to come up to Tucson and see this event for the first time. We all had a great time!

My Outfit:

*late 1940s Mexican circle skirt and matching shawl- Desert Vintage
*red vintage Mexican fiesta blouse- thrifted
*late 1940s vintage tooled leather cinch belt- Razzle Dazzle Vintage
*brown 1940s vintage tooled leather purse- Buffalo Exchange
*brown reproduction 1940s tooled leather wedges- Olvera St. in Los Angeles, CA
*vintage 1950s fruit basket jewelry set- from my lovely gal pal Jennifer Hayes
*a red rose placed on the side of my bottom roll- handmade

The Boys:

To represent the spirit of Mexico, I made sure the boys wore their guayabera's. My husband has this fabulous kelly green colored one, that I found for him a few years back. It matched the green color in my skirt just perfectly! My son wore his light blue guayabera that I purchased for him on Olvera street, on our last trip to Los Angeles, CA. Per usual, they sported their Levi's denims and black converse sneakers.



  1. Wow, I didin't know in USA celebrate Dia de Muertos too, is like in Mexico, most of the people celebrates halloween instead Dia de Muertos, in fact at shcools they try teach about our celebration and how important is too continue them.
    Your kid looks so cute! =)

  2. What fantastic photos, you all look seriously terrific! (Your outfit is the just too amazing for words, sweetie!)

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  3. Hiya,
    I just discovered your web site: Blogger: Golden Girl of the West
    when I was browsing It looks as though someone enjoyed your site so much they decided to bookmark it -
    good job!

    Here is my homepage: Desktop Gadgets

  4. What i do not realize is in fact how you're now not really much more well-favored than you might be right now. You're so intelligent.
    You already know thus considerably in the case of this subject,
    produced me in my view consider it from so many various angles.
    Its like women and men are not interested until it's one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs excellent. Always care for it up!

    My blog Thai Massage in Wiesbaden

  5. Asking questions are actually fastidious thing if you are not understanding something completely, however this piece of writing provides nice understanding yet.

    My web page; paleo diät und kartoffeln

  6. Pretty portion of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to
    claim that I get in fact loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I will be
    subscribing in your feeds and even I success you access constantly quickly.

    Feel free to visit my web site ... wordpress installieren

  7. Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you're just too magnificent. I actually like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are
    saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise.
    I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actually a great website.

    Also visit my web page: rezept paleo

  8. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be
    told was a amusement account it. Look complicated
    to more introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how can we be in contact?

    Also visit my page: lenkmatten tutorial

  9. Wow, this paragraph is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing these
    kinds of things, so I am going to inform her.

    Also visit my site: low carb milk

  10. You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about
    the issue and found most people will go along with your
    views on this website.

    My site: lenkmatten kinder
    my webpage - lenkmatten fliegen anfänger