Written by Jan Craddock
Illustration by Adolfo R. Gonzalez
We speak quietly about the dead and plan for a special day to remember and value them. So much to do as we plan for their arrival into our memories and consider the impact they have on our lives. We talk about what they would like to have for their return to Earth for two special days every year (November 1 and 2nd). That is when the party begins. Welcome to Día de Muertos —Day of the Dead.
This age old holiday has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years by many different cultures, but it is mostly a Mexican tradition. Celebrated widely in the United States, it has become very popular in Las Vegas, and two of the larger festivals take place at the Clark County Winchester Cultural Center and The Springs Preserve.
Día de Muertos brings the community together to commemorate the lives of the departed through strong cultural beliefs, family ties and traditions. These include colorful art, traditional foods, poetry (Calaveras) for the loved one, and lots of spirituality. The signature painted skull faces, paper mache skeletons, and colorful paper flowers are just a few of the important characteristics of the day. Family members create altars (ofrendas) covered with a collection of favorite items, toys, food, flowers, letters, and photos to honor their loved ones’ lives on Earth. Other traditions include the pan de muerte (bread of the dead) sugar skulls, tamales, and atole.
This year, BLVDS LV will publish a Special Edition to pay tribute to this beautiful holiday by exploring all of the facets of the tradition and recognizing the contributions of generations for the last 3,000 years. We hope it will help you to stop and fondly remember those who have passed on yet remain in your memories.
Look for it at the beginning of October where ever you find your BLVDS LV Magazine.