Living away from my country for so many years, has given me the great opportunity to appreciate all those Mexican traditions that I miss so much even more. Yo Mariana always try to promote and preserve them as much as I can, especially because I want to give my children a real bicultural upbringing and to enrich their daily lives with the huge advantages of growing up with two cultures side by side.
Every November the 2nd, Mexico fills its streets with festivities to celebrate the lives of the family members that are no longer with us. The Day of the Dead is a celebration that's filled with color and happiness in which all the cemeteries of the country are packed with altars that are decorated with marigold flowers, colorful papers and all the things the person who is remembered used to love.
I'll never forget the great opportunity I had to witness the Day of the Dead, 13 years ago, in Oaxaca, Mexico. This city is known for having one the biggest celebrations in the country and it's truly an unforgettable experience.
This year I'm thrilled to see how this festivity is being celebrated here in the States in very different ways, from art exhibits, at the movies and even in costume stores, the fact is that I see it everywhere.
In Houston, I found an exhibition at the Lawndale Art Center in which every year 300 artists express their own version of the Day of the Dead on an 8 x10 "retablo". This studio is located two blocks away from the Museum of Fine Arts inside an Art Deco building that was built in 1930. All the pieces are auctioned and the profits are used to help three local artists each year by giving them financial aid plus a place to work at and show their pieces on top of the opportunity of getting to know other artists.
On another note, the family movie "The book of life" was just released in movie theaters all around the U.S. and I’m filled with pride to know that this is the first movie from the Mexican Jorge Gutierrez and is produced by Guillermo del Toro. Jorge mentioned in an interview that he did this movie to honor a friend who died when they were nine years old, what a great way to pay him homage. I want to congratulate him for this great project and for letting us show our kids, through a very fun movie, this wonderful tradition.
I invite all of you to celebrate this November 2nd with a lot of joy. Let's keep our traditions alive by doing an altar at home, reading our kids a book about this theme, by buying Day of the Dead bread and hot chocolate for Sunday night or even just by seeing this family movie all together.
Happy Day of the Dead!
Send me pictures of how you celebrate the Day of the Dead to the hasthtag #yomarianatradiciones on Twitter and Instagram.
Here is the trailer of The Book of Life. You have to go see it!
If you want a costume related to this topic, even Party City has them now. Click on the images for more info.
Lawndale Art Center 4912 Main Street
Exhibition open from October 20th to November 8th.
Free Entrance - Closed Sundays