For Mexicans believe in the life/death/rebirth
continuum - they treat death as an equal part of life. Day
of the Dead originated with the Olmecs -the first Mesoamerican
civilization centered in Veracruz, whose origins remain mysterious
- but it is hard to escape the correlations with the other earlier
pyramid building culture that also was informed by intimate knowledge of the
Since April 1996, Carnaval.com has fulfilled its mission as the web's most important portal for the greatest people's celebrations in the world. Underlying this commitment is an assumption that San Francisco represents the spiritual or creative center of the new age we are entering as one , increasingly interconnected people. We all share the cycle of life, which for most of us means: life - death - rebirth.
The Carnaval celebration is rebirth made conscious as the joy and embrace of living. With this page we complete an important cycle of our own, chronicling the equaling important, if more solemn occasion of death, from the perspective of the great culture of Mexico. San Francisco's Mission district and Dia de Los Muertos commemoration will again also co-host this journey.
Dia de Los Muertos by
azcentral.com || Altar
Video || Altar
of the Dead in Mexico
A look at the origins and evolution of the Day of the Dead festival, originally celebrated during the month of Miccailhuitontli on the Aztec calendar
Guide to Day of the Dead by
Boise Matthews at Las Culturas
and Death in ancient Mexico
people's shaman told them of a spirit world behind the
apparent reality. Birth was an emerging from this world of
spirit. Death was a descent back into it. In an unending
cycle, the crops died and were born again --
in Mexico ||
About Day of the Dead ||
You can enjoy Dia de los Muertos celebrations in cities across Mexico and the United States.
Guadalajara & Lake Chapala
of the Dead in Oaxaca
of the Dead in Janitzio
The Sacred Fire (Celtic) || sacredfire.net
Araw ng mga Patay
O-bon, or simply Bon, is the Japanese version of the Ghost Festival. It has since been transformed over time into a family reunion holiday during which people from the big cities return to their home towns and visit and clean their ancestors' graves.
Traditionally including a dance festival, it has
existed in Japan for more than 500 years. It is held from 13th of July
to the 16th ("Welcoming Obon" and "Farewell Obon" respectively) in the
eastern part of Japan (Kanto),
and in August in the western part (Kansai).
China & Japan
In the Chinese tradition, the seventh month in the Chinese calendar is called the Ghost Month, in which ghosts and spirits come out from the under world to visit earth. The Ghost Festival is the climax of a series of the Ghost Month celebrations. Activities at the festival include preparing ritualistic offering food, and burning hell money to please the visiting ghosts and spirits, as well as deities and ancestors. Other activities include, burying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies "giving directions to the lost ghosts."
|Butterflies & Hummingbirds
alfenique are Sugar Skulls with colored icing are good
to share with friends and relatives
Celebration of Life and Death on the Web
Aztecs believed souls might return as butterflies and hummingbirdsMonarch Watching
Every autumn Monarch Butterflies, which have summered up north in the United States and Canada, return to Mexico for the winter protection of the oyamel fir trees in the mountains of the state of Michoacan (150 miles west of Mexico City near El Rosario). The local inhabitants welcome back the returning butterflies, which they believe bear the spirits of their departed - the spirits to be honored during Los Dias de los Muertos.
Food and Sugar Skull links
for Sugar Skulls
de los Muertos
Create: Alters & Papel Picado
arcos (las ofrendas)
Paper Cutouts by Carmen Lomas
At Latinbayarea.com @
Marvin Perton — Festivities & Photos
Check out Rich Vazquez's deep articulate site for thousands of well reviewed Latin Links. Formerly with about.com
Houses some of the most comprehensive databases online. Bringing your relatives back to life is also a good way to follow an inward journey.
Dia de Los Murtos on
Classroom project Photos
Samhain (the word for
"November" in Irish) traditionally marked the end of the summer and the
beginning of the harvest season.
Among Neopagans, it is a time often a time to honor the dead, and is celebrated on October 31/November 1 in the Northern Hemisphere. Wiccans consider it the most important of the the four "greater Sabbats." Samhain is considered by most Wiccans as a celebration of death and of the dead, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In this regard, it is very similar to Day of the Dead. It can also be seen as the counterpoint to Beltane (May 1), a celebration of life and vitality.
"We gather to remember and honor our ancestors, our Beloved Dead, and all those who have crossed over. As we mourn for those we love who have died this year, we also mourn the losses and pain suffered by the Earth, our Mother. Yet even as we grieve we also remember and honor the sacred cycle of life, death, rebirth and regeneration, celebrating the births of our children born this year, and our own vital connections to the Earth and each other, in which we ground our hope."
Starhawk: a San Francisco based writer, activist and witch at the forefront of ecofeminism. She helped found, through classes, workshops, camps, and public rituals in earth-based spirituality, with the goal to "unify spirit and politics".