Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dia de los Muertos: Marigold Parade

Sunday was the annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival in Albuquerque's South Valley, a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.  It's a Mexican festival that is the equivalent of All Saints (November1) and All Souls Day (November 2).  It's not meant to be either sad or scary.  Instead, people get together to joyously and gratefully celebrate their memories of friends or family who have died.

Six of us from Amherst Drive marched in this year's parade to honor Glenn and Nita's dog Brooklyn who had died only a few days before.  Glenn and Nita made a fantastic float decorated with huge blown-up posters of Brooklyn, oversize marigolds, and strings of the tennis balls that Brooks loved to chase.  We all dressed up as "calaveras" (skulls) and pulled the wagon while tossing candy to the kids who lined the street.  The marigolds are thought to attract the souls of the dead so that they can enjoy the fun as well.

In addition to marchers, bands, dancers, and floats, there was also a large contingent of "low riders" -- vintage cars that have been tricked out with sound systems, sirens, hydraulic lifts, etc.  These are a huge hit with the crowd.

Here are a few pictures of us with the float and some short video clips of other marchers and low riders.