Frivolous Friday! Dia De Los Muertos

It’s Frivolous Friday!

Thought I would share some of the fun I squeezed in this week (in between all my portrait sessions and retouching work.)

Yep, this happened #1:

Made a spooky new friend this week at Old Town’s Day of the Dead festivities – she was colorful, sweet and fun (everything I strive to be…lol!)

This gal was ooo la LAAAA with her scarlet outfit and orange marigold accessories!

You probably already know that Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd (All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day) but Old Town celebrates for a couple weeks so you have lots of time to see the colorful decorations and altars

One of the most important traditions of this holiday is the preparation of ofrendas (altars) to honor loved ones who have passed away as they make their journey to Earth.

There are a lot of aspects to these elaborate altars, the most common symbolizing the four main elements: water, fire, earth and wind.

1. Water

A cup of water will normally be placed on the altar to quench the thirst of the spirits as they make their journey from the afterlife to visit the land of the living.

Some may also place their loved one’s favorite beverages instead of water.

2. Candles
Representing the fire element, rows of lit candles can be found on altars. These candles are supposed to light the path to guide spirits home.

3. Papel picado (perforated paper)
The papel picado represents the wind element. The holes in the paper are a way for souls to travel through to make their visit.

4. Tapetes de arena (sand sculptures or tapestries)
Representing the final element, earth, these sand sculptures are an important part of the altar in some Mexican regions. Using sand and pigment, the sculptures may depict religious themes or other images.

These are some other items that many people place on their altars.

5. Portraits

Photos of deceased loved ones are one of the most vital additions to altars. This is seen as a way to call loved ones to the altar so they can cross over.

6. Salt
Salt is usually laid out in the shape of a cross as a way to purify the souls as they cross over.

7. Flor de muerto (flowers of the dead)

The cempasúchil , widely known as marigolds, are one of the most recognized flowers associated with the Day of the Dead.

The bright color and strong fragrance are believed to attract spirits to the altar. Their orange color is also associated with the feeling of celebrating life, instead of the sadness associated with death.

8. Pan de muerto (bread of the dead)

Pan de muerto is a popular sweet bread placed at the altar along with an array of other foods that the people being honored loved.

Monarch butterflies represent the souls of their ancestors returning to visit them for Día de Muertos so they were prominent in the decor too!

The Old Town Cemetery was all dressed up for the celebration with a 20 foot long altar and lots of decor on the graves, etc.

The outside wall of the cemetery was decorated too – it was both festive and heartwarming to see all the sweet remembrances!

It’s believed that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours.

On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.

Dressing as a skeleton makes it friendlier for spirits.

Old Town has lots of fun activities, shrines and decor to help make the holiday come to life….pardon the pun.

And who can resist a glance through all the shops?

I found the sweetest nativity to add to my collection of tiny nativity scenes –

this one was hand painted all tucked inside a match box.

So cute!

And yes, of course WE HAD TO enjoy a festive brunch –  Huevos Rancheros from Cafe Coyote hit the spot!!

(…along with half a basket of warm tortilla chips and a whole bunch o’ salsa…cuz hanging around with skeletons makes you hungry….)

nom nom nom….

What can I say:  I’m Feeling Blessed!

And do you know what else I’m blessed by?     Capturing amazing moments for you to treasure for a lifetime!

As a photographer it is my great joy to capture Family and Senior PortraitsEngagementWeddings and MORE that are as special and unique as you are –

sessions are an hour long with unlimited poses, unlimited outfits, unlimited fun!


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I am a full time professional photographer based in San Diego, but will travel anywhere for weddings.

Serving San Diego, Poway, Scripps Ranch, La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, 4-S Ranch, Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, Outdoor Family, Child, High School Senior, Family Reunion, Newborn,

Engagement,  Couples,  Best, Fun Senior Portraits, Family Reunion, Beach Portrait Shoot, Park Portrait shoot, Balboa Park , Wedding photographer

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