November 1, 2016

Dia de los Muertos

Feliz Dia de los Muertos! We celebrated with a day at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Since we've not celebrated the Day of the Dead in the past we really didn't know what to expect. We had checked out a book about it last week so we learned a bit. Typical foods, traditions and things along those lines were covered. The museum did it right. Lots of people dressed up, they had music, crafts, face painting, food, performances and great exhibits. Did I mention it was all free? Right in our price range.

For those of you who are new to this celebratory event here is some info. Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead (for the gringos) is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. It originated in Mexico but is now often celebrated in Spain, Central and South American countries. It is a day to honor those that have passed away. It is a way to celebrate them and celebrate life. Families will often visit cemeteries and hold vigils, bring candles, flowers and other ofrendas (offerings). At home, families will create altars and have parties for the deceased with more offerings, photos, sugar skulls and food such as pan de muerto and a Mexican hot chocolate called atole.
We partook in all the festivities at the Museum of International Folk Art. We enjoyed the pan de muerto and atole. The boys had more than their fair share. Reno even asked if we could find the recipe. A few of us got our faces painted. We made a bracelet for Cayenne, decorated sugar skulls and even got to do something meaningful. 

They had an altar where people had brought photos and other little offerings or things that their relatives enjoyed (I even saw a pack of gum!) to honor the loved ones they'd lost. They had a small tree that people were pinning leaves on. The leaves had the names of the loved ones they were honoring. I lost my brother last year. It was a hard hit for the whole family, especially my Dad. I knew who my leaf would be for. I asked the boys to decorate a leaf. Reno chose Uncle Mark and Niko chose Miss Heidi. Heidi was a mother figure for Edson whom he was very close with. She was brutally killed 4 years ago. It was all I could do to hold back the tears just thinking about them. The only thing that kept me together was realizing that in those very moments my kids were remembering the people we really cared about and doing something to honor them. My sadness turned into pride and happiness-- what this day is supposed to be all about!

A leaf for Edson's Abuelita, my brother Mark and Heidi
So for those who left us too soon we cherish you and won't ever forget you. You live through our memories. We love you. I'll leave you with one last picture of our little flamenco dancer. That oughta lighten up this post that turned somber for a brief moment.


  1. Just beautiful. I didn't know anything about this holiday. I think it's wonderful!
    Have been reading all of your posts (subscribed so get it in email) and think ya'll are awesome (and a bit nuts as I could never do what you're doing).
    Miss you all!

    1. I think Dia de Los Muertos is wonderful, too. I'm hoping we now celebrate it every year! Oh, and I think we are a bit nuts, too! :) haha!

      Miss you! Thank you for reading (and commenting!).