Day of The Dead

I have been making Altares for as long as I can remember

By M. Reyna
Published on LatinoLA: October 20, 2007

Day of The Dead

Hola Editor y amigos en LatinoLA.com:

I have been contributing stories to this web site for over a year now in fact almost two years now. And it has been such an adventure and an honor to be a part of this fabulous medium and web site. La Interneta..ain't that the truth...

I don't always agree with the opinions shared in here...that's what I love about LatinoLA ... el editor seems to be unbiased...publishes various points of views. I admire that...That is why I keep coming back and continue to submit material to be featured in here. Freedom of Speech!

I don't agree with all that is written in here and other media.

In fact I was infuriated when I read those articles yet I read them and was disgusted and I bit my lengua for a while-I strongly do not agree with these opinions. And we all know about opinions: everyone's got one!

I can say one thing I will never go against my RAZA..my Brown People. Never! Don't believe the Hype, all that you see on the T. V. unless you were there.

And I was there. OK -Orale mi Gente pongase Trucha.

Que no le digan que no le cuenten!

I Lived in the vicinity of 6th and Alvarado for five years..the MacArthur Park area/Rampart Division of LAPD. Not the nicest place in L. A. to live...to me it was eye opening to see the amount of discrimination.

In this colorful area of botanicas and ethnic diversities, I was introduced to yucca and pupusas by my new Salvadorian friends as well as learn new lingo. I met Nicaraguan families and people from all over Central and South America.

I would have to say that was the best experience-was to learn about other Latin Cultures.

I always like to educate and inform people on my culture especially within my culture!

Day of The Dead:

I have been making Altares for as long as I can remember..Now I make Altares as Art exhibits.

I prepare all year long collecting odds and ends-but the month of October is the most exciting.

First the theme: This year it will be a black, purple and chrome along with pink color cruzes scheme for the Altar.

I have ashes that belong to my sister to guide me through the process.

The sugar skulls are amazing to make and decorate.

Each Altar is as different as the individual that builds it. Last year I dedicated my Altar to the women of Juarez. This year to the women of the World that suffer injustice as well as my family members.

History of Dia De Los Muertos: Dates back to our Indigenous Ancestors of Mexico (Purapecha, Nahau, Totoni, and Otomi) who believed that the soul of the dead return each year to be with their living relatives. And anything you may want to share or tell them they can listen and hear you..

The Aztecs believe that after death his or her soul would pass through nine levels prior to their final destination Mictlan. Two months of the Aztec calendar is dedicated to the dead, nine months devoted to infants and the ninth month included a great feast for dead adults.

The Spanish conquest in 1521 brought a fusion of Indigenous and Catholic beliefs.

Combining all Saints Day and All Soul Day Rituals to the Indigenous way of Celebrating Day Of The Dead.

Nov. 1st is dedicated to all the little Angels -- they come first -- all the souls of the infants and children to light the path followed by the adults souls on Nov. 2nd.

Traditionally, family members prepare an Altar at home that include photographs of the dearly departed, their favorite memento, clothing, food, drink, music ect. Flowers, candles, incense, sugar skulls, pan de muerto, water. And other personal items that belonged to the dead (toys, hair comb, tequila, cigarettes, sect.)

At the Cemetery, the family gathers clean and decorate the grave site of the deceased with a wreath or cross of marigolds and streamers of colorful paper, candles, and incense. The deceased favorite food is brought to the cemetery along with drink and pan de muerto.

At 6:00 PM the bells begin to ring every thirty seconds to summon the dead. They ring through the night. At sunrise the ringing stops after the night long vigil.

Day of The Dead
Dia De Los Muertos Festival
Sunday Oct. 28
12-6 PM
San Juan Capistrano Regional Library
31495 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949 248-5132
"A Celebration of Life and Family"
Please join me in these traditional Celebrations.
There will be Altars, Art exhibit by various Artist, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folklorico, Storytelling, arts and crafts for children off all ages, indigenous foods.

The Mission is free for children on that day!

About M. Reyna:
M. Reyna-Varied Artist: Painter, poet, Storyteller.

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