Stockton, CA /Bilingual Weekly
(Why so many prayers for these souls? It’s for those who are traversing the darkness of the Earth find the veil and find the light… And who the light but He who made the heavens, the Earth and everything else? …the sun, Tonatiu, the Navel of the whole Universe… He is God, Ce teotl (Malinalzihuatl)
On Tuesday evening, November 2, while many in Stockton were trying to guess the outcome of the Mid Term Elections, the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery was filled with the smoke of incense and the beat of drums.
There, among ofrendas and a small audience, Malinalzihuatl Argumedo —in full Aztec regalia— danced, explained and blessed the dozen-plus altars built by local artists and aficionados.
For photo gallery click here http://BilingualWeekly.imagekind.com/muertos_HMC2010
The ritual known today as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is based in a 3,000-years old native practice mocking death.
Skulls were used to honor the dead —whom the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican civilizations believed came back to visit during a month-long ritual.
Unlike Europeans raised on the Judeo-Christian perception of death as the end of life, Mesoamericans viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it — life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.
Today Mexican families build altars dedicated to their dead, surrounding these altars with flowers, food and pictures of the deceased. They light candles and place them next to the altar.
The Altars’ Exhibition will continue until November 30th. An additional evening of food and song on November 6th from 5 to 8pm. when family and friends will gather to share their memories of their dearly departed.
For more information regarding this event or to schedule a tour, please contact Andrea Gutierrez at (209)547-0792.