Dead links Stop stuffing your face with Halloween candy, fatty: There are far more interesting and culturally enlightening things to be doing today, which is Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday known as Day of the Dead. Every Nov. 1-2, people all over Mexico celebrate by donning skull masks, eating sugar skulls and creating little altars called ofrendas, which means "offerings" for their departed loved ones. Instead of a grim occurrence, the holiday is mirthful and joyous, meant to celebrate the memories of the dead instead of mourning them.
Here in Detroit, there's plenty of Day of the Dead activity in Mexicantown: check out mexicantown.org for information on the community's 12th Annual Dia de Muertos Fiesta, which includes a walking tour, a shuttle bus tour of ofrendas, and drop-in workshops. This year, the Mexicantown Community Development Corporation will present a special ofrenda for Maryann Mahaffey.
If you'd like to see more of the festivities in Mexico, check out photographer Mary J. Andrade's Web site: dayofthedead.com. Andrade has traveled to Mexico for the holiday since 1987 to document the festivities, and her site includes lots of photos and tidbits of history.
The site diadelosmuertos.us, created by artist Ladislao Loera, has a wealth of information on the holiday and its origins.
Want to try your hand at making your own sugar skulls? Check outmexicansugarskull.com for instructions and recipes. You can buy the skull molds via the site, along with such Day of the Dead trinkets as skeleton toys, figurines and folk art.
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