07 November 2010

Recap: Dia de Los Muertos Celebration in Downtown Santa Ana

Last night tsudoku, my famous buddy @DavidisALLright, and I headed to downtown Santa Ana for the annual Noche de Las Alturas event as part of Dia de Los Muertos, also known as "The Day of the Dead." Dia de Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday where families gather to honor and pray for friends and family members who've passed. This year the holiday fell on a Tuesday (Election Day), but the celebrations happened all day yesterday. I reminded @DavidisALLright that the Vietnamese have a similar tradition but instead of everyone celebrating all on one day, we pray and remember our ancestors on the day of their death.

Anyhow, here are some photos from last night's festivities. There were a LOT of altars - every single one of them beautiful and meaningful. The streets of Birch and 4th were filled with the aroma of marigolds and sage; I even bought a couple ceramic sugar skulls, calaveras de azucar in Spanish. If you ever have an opportunity to go to a Dia de Los Muertos celebration, I highly recommend going and taking the kids. It's a cultural experience that cannot be missed.

One of many beautiful altars at Noche de Los Alturas. This one honored
the murdered women of Ciudad Juarez (las muertas de Juarez)

This altar caught my eye because of the many sarapes. Notice the bread
(pan de muerto) and drinks on the altar (ofrenda)  

This awesome altar was created by the Orange County Equality Coalition;
obviously the photo doesn't do it justice

This altar took up the entire tent; photos of young victims of
bullying are scattered below, on the lockers, and on the writing desk

Sugar skulls (calaveras de azucar) created by some kids from a local art academy

Candles, family photographs, marigolds, and pan de muerta
complete the altar

An example of a decorated sugar skull

The message is true; we need to make a change

A play on the infamous "watch out for families crossing the border"
signs found along the I-5 S

I love this photo - a beautiful collage of crosses in a store front window

My two ceramic sugar skulls - how gorgeous are they? I'm thinking of using them
as my cake toppers for my imaginary wedding :)


Tatiana said...

Awww, this makes me miss Santa Ana. Such a culturally rich city. Love the photos!

Vickipedia said...

@Tatiana Santa Ana's such a terrific city; it's events like these that make me proud to be an SA native :)