Saturday, October 31, 2015

El Día de Muertos

Hector Castellanos has organised his eleventh Día de Muertos Festival for Cleveland. In Mexico and Guatemala the days co-incide with All Saints, and All Souls. These celebrations were ancient when the conquistadores came. Since then the customs have been christianised. And it fits well. A few main themes are universal. Remember man, thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return. Vanity of vanities, all life is vanity. We live to death, all others too. We remember those that we love, and loved us, have died. We are still connected.
At the main altar is an ofrenda (offerings) for San Oscar Romero. It is in traditional tiered form, with marigolds (cempazuchitl), lit candles, a representation of the Virgin, fotos of the deceased, calaveras (skulls), and items for refreshment.

Outside there is a cemetery scene. supra, lyrics from a Rolling Stones' song
Eleven sideshow type banners have skeletons as the actors of several current television reality shows. What an apt commentary, vanity, and nastiness are the subjects of much of these programmes, and very little substance, and what barrenness they expose of the performers.

Later in the day they will have a parade, and entertainment inside the old parish hall. Originally, the campus was St. Mary's Romanian Orthodox.

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