Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead.  The general story is here.

Generally it relates to All Saints and All Souls, with Catholic roots, and Halloween of course, and in a really general sense I would toss into the same kettle, Guy Fawkes Night in England (the video link, about ten minutes, is fascinating), which is November 5.  Nov. 5, 2001, we were in London, England, and our B&B, happened to overlook a small park where parents and kids were doing their thing with little fires, etc., celebrating the night.  (Guy has to roll over in his grave each year!)

One day, Day of the Dead, 2004,  I participated in the twin cities rendition of Dia de los Muertos, just north of Lake Street.  Most of the participants were of Mexico and Central American descent, and a few of us others came along.  It was a low key and respectful, and happy observance in memory of departed friends and relatives.

All of these observances, and doubtless others, relate to Fall (Autumn), in our latitude, a time of transition from summer to winter.  (Generally, Europe is more northern in latitude than the United States.). We all live in the natural world, and various traditions are borrowed from what we live….

Of course, there are endless variations of how these days are observed.  In the old days of outhouses, in my country, a tradition was to tip the outhouses and assorted other kinds of more-or-less sanctioned vandalism (“pranks”, not always innocent) on Halloween. It was expected.

Halloween night of 1991 I lived in Hibbing, and a cold rain on Thanksgiving night was the harbinger of what became three feet of snow in the famous “halloween blizzard” we lived through – and yes, there was three feet of snow.  I shoveled it.

The topic comes up for me today for a couple of reasons:

    1. Yesterday at the Basilica was the annual procession of icons, this year it seemed about 30, relating to All Saints.  Here is a photo of one in the procession:

      Basilica of St. Mary Oct 30, 2022.  Icon at right, held by the carrier.

2. Most especially, today, comes to mind my parents, both long deceased.  Dad died 25 years ago on Nov. 7, 1997; Mom long preceded him, August, 1981.  Ironically, that is 41 years ago, and I was 41 when she died.

Life goes on for all of us, with all of its aspect.  All best in this time of memories.

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