Dia de los Muertos at Upper Riccarton Library

On the 1st of November the Mexican community came to Upper Riccarton Library to set up a Dia de los Muertos display. On this day throughout Mexico and, to a lesser extent, in other parts of Latin America, people celebrate Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead. That’s right, celebrate – as they understand death not as an ending, but as a pathway.

Dia de Muertos display at Upper Riccarton LibraryIn homes, people create altars to honour and remember their deceased loved ones, and families and friends gather to remember and reminisce by welcoming the opportunity to reflect upon their lives, their heritage and their ancestors. The day is all about love and happiness, not fear and sadness.

This year the display at Upper Riccarton Library was around Frida Kahlo as she is one of the best known Mexican people in the world.  It has been a total success, with heaps of people stopping to look at it and asking questions. We ended up learning that many countries in the world have similar celebrations… it is a small world after all!

Does your culture celebrate a festival similar to Dia de los Muertos?

Discover more:

Steffi
Upper Riccarton Library

Mexican Day of the dead

Like it or loathe it, Halloween is upon us once more. The journey of that old pagan tradition linked to the Northern hemisphere’s autumn festival of Samhain to its current 2 dollar shop plastic kitsch in this country (and others, to be fair) must be a tangled one. If lollies weren’t involved, would children still bother to dress up and go door to door? For a European perspective, you could try Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, which will tell you far more than you thought you wanted to know about European pre-Christian mythology.

TCover of The Day of the deadhe idea of a celebration that includes dead family and friends doesn’t have to be morbid or a spooky one, as Halloween pretends to be. My favourite has to be the Mexican Day Of The Dead, which actually covers 3 days , from 31st October to 2nd November, and is celebrated with food, drink and remembering those who have passed away. Has to be better than Christmas Day with the in-laws, surely

Fendalton Library is having a Dia De Los Muertos display, from Friday 1st November, courtesy of Christchurch’s vibrant Mexican community; why not drop and have a look if you’re in the area? The library does have a book dedicated exclusively to El Dia De Los Muertos, if you wanted to find out more.

Since we’re heading into the festive season, why not check out the library resources on festivals.