Death is not the end but the beginning.
Célia Jiménez here, wishing you a happy feast of the dead. It is a solemn and colorful tradition in which people honor their relatives, friends and pets who no longer live. It’s a tradition that has been part of Mexican culture for thousands of years. In fact, it is such an important tradition that in 2008 UNESCO declared it intangible cultural heritage.
The tradition became better known in 2017 when the Disney film coco has been freed. The film tells the story of Miguel, a talented young Mexican who wants to become a musician, despite the fact that for generations his family has banned music. Miguel sets off on an adventure in the land of the dead where he learns the true story of his family history.
The day of the dead is celebrated November 1, also known as All Souls Day and primarily dedicated to the memory of deceased children, and November 2, Day of the Dead. To honor deceased loved ones, people decorate the graves of those loved ones or build an altar in their homes. Each altar includes various items: food (the deceased’s favorite), water (for thirsty ghosts), decorations (sugar skulls, papel picado, toys, candles and marigolds), shakers (to wake them up) ghosts) and pictures to celebrate the people who are gone.
Artisana gallery co-owner Adrianne Jonson has celebrated this tradition, which is her family’s biggest party, in Pacific Grove with locals and tourists alike since she opened the gallery in 2008.
Jonson says his altar has three levels and each one symbolizes something different. The first is Earth, the third is the celestial realm, and the second level is where the two meet: the human realm (where we are). For Jonson, the Virgin of Guadalupe is always at the top of the altar: “She is like the Guardian, who guards this celestial kingdom. And flowers are also an important element on any altar, “because you have to have life and things that thrive and grow,” Jonson says.
For Jonson, the Day of the Dead is “a way of honoring all the generations that came before us. who made this time now possible, because without them none of us would be here.
Whatever our origin, the Day of the Dead is an opportunity to remember and honor the people we have lost. People set up altars at home, at school, and in public places where everyone can find common ground and connect with people of different ages and backgrounds.
Over the next few days there will be different celebrations across the county to honor those who are no longer with us:
Today, November 1 at 6 p.m. Palenke Arts will host an event featuring food, music and folk dance. The free event will take place at the Oldemeyer Center at 986 Hilby Ave., Seaside.
Tuesday, November 2 From 5 p.m., the town of Gonzales will organize its first celebration of the Day of the Dead. The event will include Mexican food, a community altar, and activities for the kids. People are encouraged to bring photos for the community altar. It will take place at Centennial Park, 250 1st St., Gonzales.
Also happening tomorrow, November 2, at Natividad Creek Park in Salinas, the MILPA collective and other local organizations will host two community altars, one for children and one for adults. People can bring offerings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, send an email to [email protected]
And also on November 2, The Hospice Giving Foundation will celebrate Day of the Dead with an altar, music, crafts and games display, starting at 6 p.m. at Hartnell College. To obtain a visit ticket hospicegiving.org/dayofthedead.
Finally, Artisana Gallery will hold a closing ceremony where will be read all the messages left on the altar of the community. “We don’t want posts to stay in the gallery,” Jonson says. “We want the messages to go out into the universe and to the ears that can hear them.” This will take place on Asilomar beach, on the side where small wood fires are allowed, at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2. Everyone is welcome.
-Celia Jiménez, editor, [email protected]