Posted in Holidays and Seasonal Changes

Attempting a Dia de Muertos Celebration

Last fall near Halloween, Robert and I watched Pixar’s Coco, which beautifully introduced us to Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). Coming from a family culture that embraces frequent visits to graveyards and cemeteries, I loved the idea of remembering loved ones who have passed on by having their own joyfully colorful and celebratory holiday.

It was only a couple of days until November 2, the traditional day when the holiday is celebrated in Mexico and other places. So we quickly made a little ofrenda (altar) consisting of a couple of pictures of our deceased parents, some flowers and a candle or two. Sitting before our simple shrine, we thanked our folks for their lives and their love.

But 2021 was another story. We began gathering Day of the Dead materials months ago and started making preparations.

We collected Day of the Dead candles, banners, decorations, and on a trip to Atlanta, we found a loaf of Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead) at the Buford Highway Farmers Market (what a glorious center of culinary diversity).

Last Tuesday, November 2nd, we celebrated by combining our dinner table and our Day of the Dead ofrenda.

Robert’s folks …

And mine …

We made some of their favorite foods for our meal …

Fried corn, collard greens, Maryland crab cakes and pork rinds

The loaf of Pan de Muertos, round to symbolize the cycle of life, with teardrops flowing from the top, representing goddess Chimalma’s tears for the living.

Holding hands, we shared memories of fun, funny and joyful stories from the lives of our parents and other loved ones who have passed on.

A movingly marvelous evening and now a permanent addition to our holiday calendar.