Rebecca at Recuerda mi Corazon blog, to my great delight, has declared “La Calaca Love” to be her theme for the month of October. People are invited to share some of their own Day of the Dead art or experiences. Calaca is the colloquial Mexican/Spanish name for skeleton and throughout the month of October, people begin the joyful preparations for the annual Day of the Dead celebrations honoring our ancestors. Wikipedia reports that calacas are frequently shown with marigold flowers and foliage. As with other aspects of the Day of the Dead festival, calacas are generally depicted as joyous rather than mournful figures. They are often shown wearing festive clothing, dancing, and playing musical instruments to indicate a happy afterlife. This draws on the Mexican belief that no dead soul likes to be thought of sadly, and that death should be a joyous occasion.
Ever since I’ve been celebrating Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, I have found so many new meaningful ways to honor my family and friends who have died--and I’ve introduced it to others who tell me how it has changed their point of view about death. At our SoulCollage® group this month, our theme again will be Day of the Dead and last year I saw some amazing cards created.
Here is my first SoulCollage® card of the 2012 season. It is in the Council suit and I call it Catrin and Catrina.
I am the one who has always dreaded and feared death and the calacas and prep for Day of the Dead has truly changed how I look at it. Long ago I remember my spiritual director Betsy Caprio suggesting that I dance with death in my journals. Familiarity sometimes lightens up fear of the unknown. This is one of the ways I continue to dance with death. I am the one who especially loves Catrin and Catrina, who are shown here on a formal outing during the fall season. Since my own 27-year-old marriage died more than 25 years ago, Catrin and Catrina as bride and bridegroom particularly intrigues me. The marriage sadly died, but the joyful part is that we have remained friends with one another--and are almost always together for family and many mutual friends events.
I got some new “stuff” for my Day of the Dead altar this year--some papier papeles and the molds to make sugar and chocolate skulls to decorate. I'm looking forward to the celebrations.
By the way, last month I reported an incorrect date for the San Pedro Day of the Dead Festival. They have decided to combine it with their monthly First Thursday art walk on Thursday, November 1. I sure am looking forward to attending.