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Tim May | profile | all galleries >> Images of Mexico:: a collection of galleries >> GALLERY:: Day of the Dead ::2005 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

GALLERY:: Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende ::2005 | GALLERY:: Day of the Dead ::2005 | GALLERY:: Contexts for the Virgin Of Guadalupe ::2005 | GALLERY:: San Miguel de Allende ::2004 | GALLERY:: SPIRITUAL ::2004 | GALLERY:: Tecate - On the Border ::2003 | test

GALLERY:: Day of the Dead ::2005

The four year old son of a friend summed it up nicely at his beloved grandfather's funeral - "I hate the life cycle." I sometimes do, too. There is a celebration in Mexico called Day of the Dead which has been helpful to me in dealing with the end of the life cycle. For two days in November the people remember their beloveds who have died. They establish altars which hold food and things that the dead person loved in life. It is part of the belief that the spirits of those who have died come to the alter and enjoy these offerings. Families gather in the cemetery to honor and remember. There is joy and sadness in the remembering.

Our recent trip was planned to coincide with Day of the Dead. I wanted to see how this celebration looked and felt. We were in Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende and saw both the preparations and celebration itself.

I was struck by what I have come to call the public and private aspect of this time. The altars are displayed through out the city, they usually contain flowers, especially marigolds, pictures of the remembered, items they loved, and food. These are public. But by visiting the cemetery of the actual Day of the Dead I also saw the private moments and the grief. I tried to not intrude into this privacy but I think some of these images captured some of that aspect of the festival.

My friend Phil Douglis also has a gallery on this subject: http://www.pbase.com/pnd1/festivals
Pathway to Remembering
Pathway to Remembering
Sugar Gathering
Sugar Gathering
Altar Decoration Vendor
Altar Decoration Vendor
Altar
Altar
Altar Detail
Altar Detail
Vendor Stall
Vendor Stall
Seat Belted Skeleton
Seat Belted Skeleton
Phoning the Dead?
Phoning the Dead?
Pigeons Return to an Altar
Pigeons Return to an Altar
Altar Detail
Altar Detail
Decorator of San Miguel's Altar
Decorator of San Miguel's Altar
Katrina
Katrina
Day of the Dead Banner Flame
Day of the Dead Banner Flame
San Miguel's Altar
San Miguel's Altar
Creating an Altar
Creating an Altar
Honoring Pope John Paul
Honoring Pope John Paul
Life and Death
Life and Death
Banners
Banners
The Cemetery Waits
The Cemetery Waits
Crowds Gather
Crowds Gather
Marigolds
Marigolds
Decoration of a Graveyard
Decoration of a Graveyard
Preparing
Preparing
Adding Life and Remembrance
Adding Life and Remembrance
Water
Water
Refracted Color
Refracted Color
On the Way
On the Way
Portrait
Portrait
Gravestone Altar
Gravestone Altar
Color on Gray
Color on Gray
Insense
Insense
Color
Color
Sugar Skulls
Sugar Skulls
Light
Light
Contrasts
Contrasts
Hint of Color
Hint of Color
Sprinkling of Life
Sprinkling of Life
Petals Rain on the Desert
Petals Rain on the Desert
Gravestone
Gravestone
Life Woven Through Death
Life Woven Through Death
Color
Color
Remembering
Remembering
Remembered 1
Remembered 1
Peeling Away from Memory
Peeling Away from Memory
Sadness
Sadness
Remembered 2
Remembered 2
Candles
Candles
Matador
Matador
Grief
Grief
Faded Photo
Faded Photo
Inquietude Nueva - New Restlessness
Inquietude Nueva - New Restlessness
Agony
Agony
Honored
Honored
Sitting at the Cemetery
Sitting at the Cemetery
Honoring Altar
Honoring Altar
Remembered 3
Remembered 3
Contemplation
Contemplation
Remembered 4
Remembered 4
Sadness
Sadness
Remembered 5
Remembered 5
The Living
The Living
Had a Full Life
Had a Full Life
Caring
Caring
Remembered 6
Remembered 6
Culture Cross
Culture Cross
Array of Color
Array of Color
Remnant
Remnant
Adieu
Adieu