QotD: Día de los Muertos

Wow – either the QotD has gotten better, or my ideas for posts have gotten worse… but my idea this morning was to write about Dia de los Muertos.

Jen had a good post yesterday about Halloween and how we should let people have fun with it, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown more fond of Dia de los Muertos.  Last year, I wrote about it some – and won’t repeat myself too much – but I’ve really grown to appreciate the way in which both life and death are commemorated in this observance.

For these days (All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day) the dead are remembered and join with the living in their favorite activities – eating, drinking, dancing, and generally having fun.  It is a great way to contribute to the oral history of the family by telling some of the favorite stories of those that had passed on.

Last year, I thought about my mom a lot as she had just died the year before.  This year, I’ve been thinking about my dad and what I would place at his commemorative place – I think it would be bowling paraphernalia, a radio to listen to Phillies games on, a roast turkey dinner, a couple of cans of Miller Lite, and probably a roll of duct-tape.

For me, I would want to have some tennis gear, my Eagles hat, maybe some of my scientific papers, and a bottle from the family vineyard (we're not related, but I like to pretend that we are).  And of course we’d need a little music (these guys hang out on our side table this month).

Oh, and I’d be sharing the turkey with my dad.

What about you?

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12 thoughts on “QotD: Día de los Muertos

  1. First, really awesome post.
    Second, probably a plate of buffalo wings and a portable DVD player showing something cool. (Maybe not scary, as I don't want to frighten whatever relative or friend was hanging out with "me.") A book, maybe. Pictures of the people I love.
    Is it weird that this is fun to think about?

  2. I love this holiday also. It ranks right up there with Thanksgiving for me. I appreciate the embrace of death as part of life. Have you ever heard of a "living funeral"? It's a chance for terminally ill people to hear what people would say at their real funeral. Sounds kind of morbid, but I like the idea.
    Anyway, at my grandma's (Ba Ngoai's) commemorative place, I'd put a bowl of soup bap cua (her recipe – corn crab soup), an old photo of her in her fancy Vietnamese dress back in Vietnam, a photo of the family all together, an old Chinese opera VHS tape, and a big vase of teddy bear sunflowers.
    For my own commemorative place, I think I'd have a photo album with all my favorite photos – me with friends and family. I'd have some ice cream, and my record player playing Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey album. Also the first necklace Lu bought me.

  3. great post. :)i don't know what i'd want… yes. i'm boring. and i'm too tired to think about it. i'm lazy. i'm sorry. heh.but i really did like your post. :)

  4. Great post. I really like the idea of commemorating the dead like this. For mine I'd probably want a pen & paper, a diet coke, a huge burrito (the kind you can only get in CA and Mexico), and some red tulips.

  5. Jen & Tamzen — there are a couple of stores in Old Town San Diego (which is mostly cheezy, but will occasionally turn up a treasure) that feature Southwestern and Mexican crafts.
    I found these a couple of years ago, and gave them to The Beloved while she was in NM (we both like mariachi bands) — now they've made their way back.. :)

  6. I found your post because Lightchaser had a link to it on her blog. I'm so glad she did. My husband lost his son to a car accident five years ago. Everyone just stopped speaking about him, thinking it would be too upsetting to him. This was more disturbing to him than you can imagine. It was as though his son had never existed. It took me close to four years to accomplish it, but I wheedled and harrassed everyone in the family and many friends, too, until I could get them each to write a story about him, something they remembered that was positive but real. Not everyoen was able to do it, but at the end, i had a sizeable enough collection to make a book of his life and Imade copies and handed them out to everyone. I realsied that though his life was short, it was pretty happy and fullfilled.Thanks for pointing out how wonderful it is to remember.

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