Dia De Los Muertos

I experienced my first Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, with a friend from Snohomish. It was helpful as she speaks fluent Spanish, and so could translate much of what I saw, both in language and culture.

We began with paintings of sugar skulls. It was very hard not to lick them while we painted. Mine had all the extra blood.

I must admit some trepidation about the holiday. I support reverence of ancestors and those that have passed. Yet I don't believe that we can communicate with the dead, being that they are in sheol (see my previous post). And I think that veneration of the dead can easily lead into worship, when we expect something from the dead as supernatural beings, or treat them in the same way as we do deities.

Yet at the same time, I really appreciate the comfortability with death expressed within this cultural holiday, as my Snohomish friend pointed out. In America we are often so removed from death, where it takes place in nursing homes and hospitals and not in our home; where advanced medicine often restricts death to the very old. Here there is a reminder of the monks of old, contemplating skulls to remember our own mortality and the immortality of God.

There was also some beautiful Dia De Los Muertos art, and even a cemetary in the building, that looked like the real thing.

Enfusing all the air were pleasant Latin strains.
Sadly, the festival was a bit small. So we wandered beyond, through the Seattle Center, till we came to a Japanese bell, begging to be rung.


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