Yesterday, as you may know, was Day of the Dead (a.k.a. All Souls’ Day) and in the town where we live, the holiday has been adopted by the community and turned into the liveliest celebration we have all year. It comes complete with several days of community activity in the week before hand with workshops for creating costumes, floats and crafts, and props; a large community turnout the night of; a ghoulish parade of the dead and their various arts and accoutrements; and a full-on hand-drum dance party at the parade’s end with multiple dance performances and free-for-alls. Unfortunately, I was the one attendee who didn’t bring a proper camera, but here are some shots I took with a phone.
This is a community mandala, made with colored saw dust, and constructed by volunteers the day of the parade, and then cleaned away following the festivities. The montessori school that Xideka now attends actually took a field trip yesterday to help out, and worked on the bright outer ring of the mandala.
These are dancers who perform through the parade and then do another extended performance at the parade’s end. This particular group had been a staple of the Day of the Dead festivities for many years now, and always inspire their fellow celebrators to join in some dancing as well.
Here you can see the crowd joining in the celebratory mélé, shaking both arms and legs in rhythm to the driving drums.
This is a giant puppet a friend of ours made that was giving out free hugs after the dance.
One of the other main attractions of the parade’s end festivities is the fire dancers. These guys went at it for at least an hour, awing the crowd with their various moves and tricks. In the background, you can just make out the throng perched on the hill for a worthy vantage.
Here are two of our friends doing a delicious duo fire dance. Don’t try this at home kids…
What a town. And what more Missoula kind of celebration than Dias de los Muertos.