The Day of the Dead in Cornelius City (USA, State of Oregon)

 

Day of the Dead 1 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

 

A colorful holiday

The Day of the Dead is a festive holiday celebrated in Mexico between October 31st and November 2nd. On this colorful holiday, Mexicans families remember and honor their deceased loved ones. In Mexico, most of the people visit cemeteries, decorate the graves and spend time there, in the presence of their deceased friends and family members.

Day of the Dead 2 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

Decorated altars

The families prepare decorated altars with sugar skulls, often with the person’s name inscribed on the top, and some food, such as beans and corn. The belief behind this holiday is that spirits came back to the world of the living just for one day of the year to be with their families.

IMG_2178
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

Painted Faces

Yellow, white, red, purple and so more! Day of the Dead is known for its vibrant colors, symbols and also painted faces. This photo is part of a Day of the Dead’s celebration in Cornelius city.

Day of the Dead 4 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

Popular symbol

The skulls have become popular symbols and are created to resemble the deceased. Family, friends, and neighbors consume later these sugar skulls when the spirits have gone.

Day of the Dead 5 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

The bread of the Dead

“Pan de Muertos” is typical bread made especially for the season with cempasuchil (marigolds), which flower at this time of year and provide a special smell to the decorated altar.

Day of the Dead 6 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

Like Halloween?

Day of the Dead and Halloween are based on the idea that the spirits return at that time of the year. However, these holidays are distinct. In the first, spirits are welcomed as part of the family, whereas in the second celebration the spirits are malevolent.

Little Angels

On this holiday there is also a belief about the little angels (called in Spanish angelitos), spirits of babies and children who have died. It is said that these “angelitos” arrive on October 31st at midnight, spend an entire day with their families and then leave this world.

Day of the Dead 9 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

Dancing with the Dead

During the ceremony, people perform traditional dances. The dancers are usually dressed in indigenous get-ups, such as headdresses and body paint.

 

Day of the Dead 10 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

Feathers

Feathers of many colors are part of this old costume indigenous tradition.

Day of the Dead 11 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

Ancestral sounds

In the ceremony the dancers play music. Some dancers are playing instruments that accompany it, like drums and flutes.

Day of the Dead 12 Copyright Natalia Messer
Copyright Natalia Messer (11.01.2017, Cornelius City, State of Oregon, USA).

The “Copal”

A girl is burning an aromatic resin called Copal, which was used in the past by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Copal is still used by indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America as incense, during sacred ceremonies.

This photo report was published on KBOO Radio (Portland, OR, USA):

https://kboo.fm/blog/61528

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