Feliz dia de los muertos! Enjoy this little short to happily introduce to some and rediscover to others the cultural heritage of our hispanic community in OKC.
he multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008 the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead. It has become a national symbol and as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the nation's schools. Many families celebrate a traditional "All Saints' Day" associated with the Catholic Church.
On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.
Today the deceased are celebrated by the tradition of their relatives and loved ones sporting festive masks and dancing in their honor. Sugar skulls are made with the deceased in mind, usually with their name on the head, and wooden skulls are made and placed on altars that are dedicated to the deceased.
The third annual Day of the Dead Celebration in Plaza District kicks off today. It is free to the public and a wonderful opportunity for people to learn about our Hispanic citizens and their heritage. This is third year for the Day of the Dead Festival, which drew over 6000 attendees in 2015. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the 1700 block of NW 16th St between Indiana Ave and Blackwelder Ave
The walking procession is to honor the traditional procession held in Mexico City, which holds the world record for the most people decorated as Catrinas or Catrins. In addition, there will be a contest for hand- pulled wagons or strollers decorated for Day of the Dead and a contest for the” Best Catrina” and “Best Catrin”. Erika Reyes, the owner of the district’s Everything Goes Dance Studio, will be honored as the Grand Marshall. The procession will begin at 4 p.m.
There is an all day celebration in the Plaza District of OKC with information linked below.
Photo credit: J Pat Carter Getty Images