Celebrating Dia de Muertos
October 28, 2015 - Zoe Dennington
As October draws to a close, families in Mexico begin the process of creating elaborate altars in their homes. These are decorated with colourful papel picado (paper bunting), marigolds, and images and models of dancing skeletons.
Day of the Dead Decorations from New Mexico
Unlike Halloween, Day of the Dead is not a spooky festival. Despite the grinning skulls and animated skeletons, its a celebration filled with light and colour. Families take the time to talk about the lives of their loved ones, and place their favourite foods on the altar. At night, candlelit processions make their way to the cemetery, where people decorate the graves of those who’ve passed away.
We’ll be celebrating Day of the Dead here at the Museum on Friday, with family activities in the afternoon and our Museums at Night late opening, complete with salsa dancing, tacos, and decoration-making workshops. We’ll have our own altar set up— why not bring along a picture of a lost loved one, or leave a message for them?
Leaving messages on last year’s Day of the Dead Altar
In the spirit of Day of the Dead, here are some of the family memories visitors have left on the tree in our Hatched, Matched, Dispatched— and Patched! exhibition:
‘My father loved bowls playing in the Wiltshire countryside. I commemorated him with trees as part of Parton Wood. My mother loved theatre. She’s commemorated with a named seat at the Pony Vic Theatre in London. My sister is commemorated at a special school in London.’
‘Laid a wreath at Menin Gate, Ypres 9 August 2015 to remember a grandfather who died 9 August 1915 and is named there.’
‘Treasured memories of my mother and father Glyndwr (Poole) Jones and Mary Tones, née Wain. They live forever in my heart, in my children and grandchildren.’
July 5, 2017
The importance of letter writing
On a recent trip to Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam I was reminded of the importance of letter writing and […]
June 5, 2017
Beware – Monsters!
Biased reporting is much in our minds at the moment, where there is often the suspicion that wild invention is being […]
April 26, 2017
Conestoga Wagon : Fred Giles’ Prize Model
Fred Giles visited the American Museum in September 1975 and saw our Conestoga wagon. It sparked an idea, and many years later his […]
African-American American An American Toy Story archives arts Bath Spa University behind-the-scenes Christmas Civil War collections colour costume curatorial Dallas Pratt events exhibition film flowers Folk Art furniture garden Gardens grounds groups Kaffe Fassett learning literature loan Mount Vernon museum Museum Volunteer Native American Period Rooms photography politics quilts review takeoverday takeoverday2014 Textiles The Last Runaway Tracy Chevalier volunteering Work Experience yarn bombing