Day of the Dead in Longmont, Colorado With Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Prepare for the spirits of your deceased relatives and friends to come back.   What?  November 1 and November 2 is Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.   This Latin American holiday is gaining popularity in Colorado.   Many humans believe that the spirits of deceased relatives and friends will return on these two days, so preparations are made.   During this time, death is not feared, but embraced and incorporated into everyday life.   Skeletons are everywhere.   Sugar skulls are prevalent.   Ofrendas, or altars are filled with photos of the deceased person and some of his/her favorite things.   We drove to the Longmont Museum to view an exhibit.   These are the greeters.

Skeleton Greeters at Longmont Museum

Skeleton Greeters at Longmont Museum

Inside, we walk through the Arch of Compassion.

Arch of Compassion

Arch of Compassion

In Latin America, arches of marigolds are common.   Here we are invited to write a tribute to honor a loved one and place the paper in the arch.  Sugar skulls are popular.

Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls

This ofrenda is typical, including serving utensils and other favorite things.

Ofrenda

Ofrenda

We are impressed with these displays.   Each one was made for a particular human and we read tributes for the deceased human.   Skulls are everywhere.

Embracing death

Embracing death

This ofrenda is dedicated to all men and women who have served this country with honor and distinction.

To all that served their country

To all that served their country

This one remembers Miriam O’Leary, a cancer victim.

To Miriam O'Leary

To Miriam O’Leary

Day of the Dead is not just for Latin Americans.   An altar, or ofrenda to Lost Immigrants.

To Lost Immigrants

To Lost Immigrants

Here we remember teachers from the local high school.

High School teachers remembered

High School teachers remembered

Since mom used to teach in a different high school, this really got to her.   In June of this year, the United States suffered a terrible loss.  In Orlando, Florida 49 people lost their lives at a Nightclub.   This was the largest mass shooting loss in the United States.   Those victims are remembered here and their spirits welcomed back for a visit.

Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting victims. June 12, 2016

Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting victims. June 12, 2016

Look at this.

A skull in the flowers

A skull in the flowers

Even a skull in a flower arrangement.   This exhibit will be open through Saturday, November 5. On that Saturday, there will be entertainment and many activities.   We hope you visit Longmont Museum in Longmont, Colorado.   When you leave, be sure to stop at the gift shop.   Here is a sample of some great gifts and souvenirs.

Stop at the Gift Shop

Stop at the Gift Shop

Don’t wait too long to go.

Day of the Dead

I, Zeb the Duck and Soapy Smith Duck, visited the Mexican Cultural Center on Leetsdale Drive in Denver.   We saw ofrentas.

A large ofrenta

A large ofrenta

This weekend is Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.   People in Mexico and other parts of the world, welcome the returning spirits of deceased family members and friends.

Preparing for the spirit’s return, many people go to the cemeteries to be sure things are tidy there.   At home, the ofrenta is set up.

Preparing for returning spirits

Preparing for returning spirits

This is a tribute to the deceased. The ofrenta features the four elements of water, fire, wind and earth. Water is often placed in clay pitchers. Fire is represented by candles. The papel picado signifies the wind.  Earth is shown through food, usually bread called pan de muerto.

The ofrenta also has things that the deceased enjoyed during their life on earth.

Ofrenta for returning spirits

Ofrenta for returning spirits

Other food, other beverages, toys, cigars, tobacco, or cards are usually on the ofrenta. Sometimes photogaphs are displayed. There are bright flowers.

Ofrenta with skeleton person and flowers

Ofrenta with skeleton person and flowers

The cempasuchitl, a type of marigold that is native to Mexico is the dominant flower of this celebration. This tradition has been carried on for over 2500 years.   Some sources say almost 4000 years.   This is a very important holiday for many people.

We, Zeb and Soapy, really liked seeing the ofrentas.

Celebrating Day of the Dead

Celebrating Day of the Dead

The people are shown as skeletons. The people do not fear death.  It is a part of the cycle of life.

Decorations

Decorations

Typical decorations for this holiday include skeletons, particularly skulls.   They make sugar skulls, often with a person’s name on the skull.   This is a very festival holiday.

Day of the Dead is very festive holiday

Day of the Dead is very festive time

I hope you can see some events or decorations this weekend for the Day of the Dead holiday.