Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) is one of the most popular celebrations in Mexico and one that I totally can embrace! The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day on November first and All Souls' on November second. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using marigolds, sugar skulls and favorite foods and beverages of the departed. I had the help from my friends from the pool scavenging their gardens for Marigolds for my altar. I made this home altar in the niche in my hallway in honor of my brother, Carter.
I filled it with some of Carter's favorite things. He loved to hunt and fish. The pheasant feathers are from one of his hunts in North Dakota. The string of straw fish is something I picked up in the jardin in San Miguel de Allende during Palm Sunday. Carter would have loved the craftsmanship that was put into making them.
There is a bottle of Turnbull, one his favorite Cabernets along with a shot glass with a naked lady on it. As I said to one of my friends, what man would not want a shot glass with a naked lady on it! She agreed. There is one of his favorite fruits to nibble on, a pear.
A few mini masks representing his fabulous mask collection. And I am happy to report, the Museo de Las Americas in Denver is going to add his collection to theirs!
He liked to do the Sudoko puzzle in the morning paper. And he was infamous around his office with his red pen, ready to edit some copy, make suggestions....
Carter loved the desert, the Grand Canyon and especially Lake Powell. You will see a book on Hiking the Grand Canyon and the ceramic Prickly Pear cactus.
He loved Mexican wrestlers, something he and my husband had in common (the purple tin skeleton with a wrestling mask in his right hand). He loved sitting in the jardin (the main plaza) in San Miguel with its magnificent Parroquia parish church (the hand-carved stone church). There is a bell that was our grandmother Mullen's that is reminiscent of the 81 bells we hear around San Miguel.
A basketball, a sport Carter excelled in and a little Scottie dog that our Dad had carved as a child representing his own little doggie, Remy.
This altar embraces Carter's full life and in my book, it is Day of the Dead everyday. Everyday I rejoice in his memory and our times together!