A time of delight and remembrance alike, the nights were busy with smiles, and rapid footsteps to music and movement all around. Nights like these, with warm greetings and food festivities galore, it’s a no wonder people were trying for more. To be involved, inside if you dare, walking around with such happiness in the air.
“Dia De Los Muertos”, or should I say “Day of the Dead,” for those unaware. This was indeed a spectacle to see, I mean there were so many people in such small areas and yet everyone at the time, seemed to be having a beautiful and wondrous moment.
When we arrived we were devastated that we didn’t have any press or media passes. But after much discussion, we were able to get in with presentation of showing who we are. Once inside the mecca of people were we able to see more of what was going on and it was beautiful. We took photos of people who seemed to have no problem smiling for us and some even joked. A couple pictured by a giant sugar skull, with what I think was a heart, had such great personalities and overall charm. Aside from all of the creativity, I do have to say that those neon lights were very annoying and seemed to cause headaches in not just myself but others as well, heck…even an SAPD officer agreed that the neon lights were horrible but joked with us about it. Not going to lie, they were intense.
Overall the people were great and some of the officers that had helped us out were great as well. I made it a point to hold my camera up high by my shoulder with the lens up, so it doesn’t get bumped by others. However, while I was trying to take photos..”boom,” “bump, bump,” yup, you guessed it…people running into me…it’s ok though it was worth it. It was bound to happen all night or a few times.
Now we all know the history, there are countless versions stemming from about 3000 yrs ago, Aztecs and others viewed death as an ever present part of life. Aztecs believed that when a person was dying they would travel to another place, the land of the dead, but it was only after successfully completing numerous challenges would their soul finally reach their “final destination.” Many family members would actually leave food, water and other items needed for their loved ones to use in the after life, to help them with their journey and challenges. Therefore making such practice the tradition we all know now.
In Medieval Spain, the living would bring forth wine and cover the deceased graves with lit candles to light up the path for the souls to find their way back to earth. It was in the 16th century that Spanish Conquistadors brought this custom to the “New World,” ushering in a new way of honoring the dead as seen through the eyes of the spanish people.