HOME   |  


October 29, 2011

Celebrating life

Costumed Day of the Dead revelersThe Cleveland's annual celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead again brought a crowd of skeletal revelers down Detroit Avenue to the Orthodox church that's part of Cleveland Public Theater's campus.

Day of the Dead altarsOutdoors, next to the church, altars have been built to honor those who passed away. Traditional items are arranged there, including food and drink for a feast to be enjoyed by the departed.

These intensely personal memorials celebrate the person's life and remember their death. This seems way more significant than simply placing flowers on a tombstone, the European/American tradition I grew up with.

Bone bikeWhen I saw the bike festooned with bones I couldn't help thinking about the "ghost bike" at East 21st and Prospect that commemorates the death of Sylvia Bingham.

But that's a good thing. It's the reason Dia de los Muertos exists, to help us the living remember those who have gone before us. Some people even believe that thinking about death regularly is a way to happiness.

A terrible beauty

Inside the church, artists had created larger memorials.

The most striking was this one by the Cleveland Museum of Art's Robin Van Lear. An arrangement of skulls, bones and candles honors the thousands killed in the terrible ethnic wars in Somalia.

[mouse over image to see detail]

Top of page   |  small speech balloons



2007 April-December

2008 January-December

2009 January-December

2010 January-December

2011 January-May

Video icon Video  Audio Audio