A Beautiful Celebration Of Our Ancestors

 

With fall now here in Nevada County, and our love of pumpkin spiced everything. Our thoughts start to move toward Halloween. Pumpkins and skeletons everywhere! There is another, lesser known holiday (by most Americans), celebrated after Halloween on November 2nd and 3rd called Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos). Yes. It sounds scary and maybe sounds inappropriate for young children but it’s really quite the opposite. In our home, ever since our oldest was about 2 we have celebrated Day of the Dead. This is a time to celebrate all of our loved ones (pets too) who have passed on. We put up pictures of those who have passed and make their favorite foods. We invite friends to join us and bring pictures, food and stories of their departed loved ones as well. We have a feast and share all the wonderful memories we have of those who are no longer with us. We are able to pass their memory on to our children. Our children are able to share the memories they have of their grandfathers, grandmothers and aunts as well as their goats, chickens, cats and other treasured pets. They benefit from hearing stories the adults have to tell, too. In a sense, it seems to take away some of the mystery of death and makes it more of a celebration of that person’s life. It also normalizes the conversation of the circle of life and keeps their memory alive. 

Every year in Grass Valley, Nevada County Fairgrounds holds an Alter Show. This is a time people can, in a very creative way, put a memorial together of loved ones who have died. It’s a great way to see an aspect of this celebration. And it is one of many celebrations we have in Nevada County that makes living here in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Alta Sierra, Penn Valley and surrounding communities such a blessing. 

The recent Disney movie, COCO, is a grand celebration of Dia De Los Muertos. It is appropriate for all ages and a wonderful family experience that illustrates and educates us about this wonderful and meaningful cultural experience!