Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{Dia de Los Muertos} Culture Experience

When I was younger I remember building an altar around the tombs of our family members who were no longer with us. We would lay out picture of us with them and their favorite foods in their honor. Our belief was that on the Day of the Dead, their souls would come back to be amongst us and to enjoy our offerings. We would gather late at night and say a rosary in their remembrance, bring them flowers and celebrate their lives as we remembered them here on earth.

As a young child or teen I didn't think anything of it and wasn't even scared to participate in this late night stroll through the rundown cemeteries in Reynosa.  It wasn't just a tradition, it was part of our everyday. My Grandfather always says.... "no le tengas miedo a los muertos, te le mas miedo a los vivos...."

It's these small memories that make me who I's these small memories that I want to pass on to my children... but like most people I am a visual person and I have a feeling my kids will be like that as well. Which is why I want to every year build on what they see and experience. If we can't go to Mexico then I want to bring Mexico to them. Huge? No, just some effort! I realize that the only way that our culture will not be lost in their generation is by making these small connections to big traditions.

This year I decided that we would start our Holiday's off by learning what a Dia de los Muertos altar was. So, I took my kids to see the beautiful exhibits over at Meca, here in Houston. It was small step for this Momma pero un paso mas hace nuestras tradiciones.

We had fun! See for yourself.....

{The Beautiful young lady in the picture was my lovely assistant for the day...her name is Erica and she is my Hubby's cousin. I love familia!}


Casey Ayala (DreamTree Photography) said...

So cool and looks like fun!

Tara said...

I wish I had somewhere like this to take my son! Thanks so much for posting this. It's like you read my mind/thoughts!! Recently my son asked me about "Dia de los Muertos", I don't even know how he heard of it. Anyways, I've been contemplating if I wanted to start celebrating. This is all new to me too! I'm sure my husband celebrated while living in Mexico. I'm really hoping he like my plan to make an alter to honor our loved ones who have passed. I have no idea where to start or what to do. The day will be here before you know it, so I need to get a move on. I hope I do it this year, if not, next year for sure. I like how you said, "If you can't take your kids to Mexico, you'll just have to bring Mexico to them." Also, your abuela had some good consejos.... it makes a lot more sense for us to be afraid of the living much more than the dead.
Abrazos amiga!

Unknown said...

I love this! Being from Argentina we don't celebrate this Holiday but since I was raised in Texas it is A MUST for me to go out and check out all the altares I can go visit. So happy that you're teaching your kids about the tradition you had as a little girl. Thanks so much for sharing!

Unknown said...

That celebration looks great, thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

WOW how awesome!!

Unknown said...

OMG!!! What a beautiful place to take your children. Those alters are gorgous! I can't get over how amazing this place is. I have tired and failed to find something here in Sacramento, CA. Boo!

I, too, struggle with teaching my daughter about the experiences that I had growing up. So seeing this post gives me ideas and inspiration!

Connie Leon said...

Tara!!! Ok, here is what I would doooo... First I would pick a place in my house where I know the altar would be noticed...for me it's the center of my home a long hall way with a good area for table or bookshelf..then I would think of WHO I want to remember...then I would make a list of what each person LOVED... find my pics and my offerings and go from are very creative I am sure you would think of a cute set up!!!

Glad everyone liked it!!! :)

Melissa, I am so glad that it could help you brainstorm..I love those moments of ideas and inspirations that are teachable to my children!

Ari, Thank YOU; I try to teach my kids about our culture and make sure that they learn about me and what makes me who I am! :D