Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dia de Muertos

The wind is so cold today that it hurts to breathe when I go outside. To amuse myself, I've been thinking about the last time I wore sandals, which would be in Monterrey, Mexico last November. Monterrey is a city of 4 million people located at the north end of the Sierra Madre mountains. I flew there after International Quilt Market in Houston to visit 2 Mexican friends who invited me to visit for the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. The photo above is an installation in a little park, and the living person is me!

An altar (altar de muertos) set up in an art gallery lobby. The altars are everywhere: churches, parks, hotel lobbys, and street-side. They display the foods, drinks (lots of tequila and Carta Blanca beer!), and objects that were loved by the deceased person being honoured. My favorite food has to be "Dead Bread", which is a delicious sweet bun that looks like a skull with finger bones on top.

A gorgeous area south of Monterrey.

The view from my friend Marycela's house.

The Day of the Dead celebration on November 2nd combines a party atmosphere with a bittersweet remembrance of family members and friends who have passed on. I think that the Mexicans have a much healthier attitude to death. I found it a very moving experience.

Monterrey is a spectacular city with amazing architecture, outdoor fountains and sculpture, world-class museums, art galleries and natural beauty. But best of all, the people were most welcoming and generous to me. I'd go back in a heart beat. And not just because I could wear sandals.

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