The Marigold Parade celebrating Dia de los Muertos has become one of my favorite events here in Albuquerque.
This year, I dressed in a long green lacy dress with a black vest and long black gloves. I wore my maternal grandfather's rosary and my paternal grandfather's military dog tags, to honor them both. I like the idea of celebrating loved ones who are no longer living. rather than fearing death, embracing it as a part of life. I find it beautiful.
A couple of men wearing Mexican wrestling masks walked around with hand-lettered signs - one read: "So it's cool to be Mexican today? What happened to "Illegals ruining our country"?" The other: "Stop the Hate #changeyourheart #alllivesmatter Amor Mexicano". While I can understand their point of view, I feel, as a non-Mexican participant, that various cultures can enjoy and partake in holidays from other groups as a form of respect and appreciation. I painted my face with calavera makeup not as an insult, but in celebration. However, I also don't go around other days in my life speaking badly about other people, Mexican or otherwise. Considering the holidays that the U.S. has added to the mix (pretty much all encouraging over-consumption in one form or another), is it any wonder that Americans want to take part in the festivities of other cultures?
Armed with my camera, I stalked the crowd.