Monday, November 12, 2012

San Miguel de Allende ~Ofrendas


Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Our Tesoro de Corazon mixed media retreat was held in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead.) Ofrendas (altars) are built all over the city, in the shops, homes and public square (jardin.)
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Ofrendas are created in honor of one’s ancestors or loved ones, who are believed to return to earth to join in the celebrations. But, I think it's more a day to remember and celebrate those who have died.
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
I love the elaborate mosaics made with beans, marigold petals, dried corn and sand.
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos is observed by all generations, from young to old.
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio

Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
As usual, I'm drawn to the details.

Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio

Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
On the evenings of November 1 and 2, the jardin is filled with families, activity and music
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
Dia de los Muertos altars
photo by Jane LaFazio
See my previous posts on San Miguel de Allende, Mexico:
The city 
The parade

And a little VIDEO from one of our fave shops in San Miguel Camino Silvestre




Ofrendas contain a number of traditional elements, many drawn from indigenous Mexican traditions:

· A photo of the deceased (the altar can have multiple pictures and represent more than one ancestor or if there are no photos on an altar it is understood that it is in honor of all your ancestors) 

· A bell to signal the location, so the spirits can find their way back to earth 

· Marigolds (Cempasúchil) to scent the night (and remind us of the impermanence of life) 

· A ladder for the journey back to earth and candles to light the way. 

· Deceased favorite food 

· Pan de muertos: a special Day of the Dead bread 

· Aztec dog to guard the altar and coins for spending money while on earth 

· Sugar skulls (Calaveras) for decoration 

· Favorite items, hobbies, food or drink that the deceased enjoyed 

· Incense: it is customary to burn copal incense (a native incense used by the Aztecs)which clears the space of any negative energy or bad spirits and helps the dead find their way. 

· A glass or bowl of water: Water is the source of life and represents purity. It quenches the thirst of the spirits. 

· Candles, whose light guides the dead 

· Crosses and other religious emblems, including statuettes of saints 

· Salt, a preservative and purifying agent 

· Papel picado (perforated paper banners)

3 comments:

  1. OMG! These photos are marvelous! I can almost make out the scents. Thank you for sharing. I must go sometime!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Un reportage très intéressant accompagné de photos fantastiques...

    Gros bisous à vous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These photos, and the others in this series, are wonderful, very evocative. I knew nothing about this festival and you have made it very real for me. thank you for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete

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