Today’s post is a photo montage dedicated to Dia de Los Meurtos. During our five-week road trip to Southern California last year we were fortunate enough (due to Bruce’s brilliant on-the-road research skills) to attend a community Dia de Los Meurtos celebration in a real graveyard in the community of Camarillo.
The afternoon was hot, the colours brilliant and the communal nature of the celebration was breathtaking. The order of the day was food, vendor booths and entertainment.
We watched as family after family, loaded down with picnic baskets and stunningly bright marigolds, were transported by motorized carts out to various grave sites. Once there, they ate and celebrated the memory and spirit of those family members gone before them.
I bought a beautiful necklace from a booth specializing in Mexican Folk Art – Yolteutl Art by Elehuiany Law – she is also an awesome face painter!
Soon after we arrived at the Celebration, we met Xavier Montes – a man well over six feet tall dressed all in white. A striking man, he seemed to be a Camarillo ambassador of some type. He made a point of checking out the strangers in town – introducing himself to us and making sure we found our way to his booth. He plays the harp for weddings and parties and also turns his hand to original artwork.
Thank you to the community of Camarillo for your warm welcome as two strangers from Canada wandered through your celebrations finding so much to enjoy.
Remarkable that so many cultures remember their ancestors at this time of year. This Mexican one, although extremely colourful, looks a bit commercial?
It was most certainly colourful. And to be honest, the graveyard was busy trying to sell plots and the vendors were hawking their wares but it only seemed to enhance the community spirit of the event.
What a lovely celebration. I love the brilliant colors! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos, Francis.
You are most welcome, Jill. I’ve been waiting to do this post for a year 🙂
Thanks for sharing this. Loved the pictures and the custom of celebrating our departed loved ones. Such a positive thing.
Certainly the way I would like those who would remember me after I’m gone to behave – having a picnic outside in the sunshine on my gravesite! Kids running around, maybe some music, good food and drink. Perfect.
This looks like an amazing journey – how wonderful you got to have this beautiful, authentic experience!
Thanks! It was one great day among so many. It is so nice to highlight this particular memory.
What a wonderful post! This is definitely what the remembrance of the dead should be all about. And what a contrast to come across your man who plays the harp for weddings! We have too many hangups about death in the West. The colours in the photos really show the difference in attitude in the region of Camarillo… Thanks!
We certainly can get hung-up on death. I am often amazed how difficult people find it to say the word – instead we tip-toe around saying things like, passed, passed away, gone, departed etc. Other cultures are much more open – Day of the Dead says it all.