Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos is a holiday that pays tribute to the dead and also celebrates life. This spiritual tradition of Mexican origin consists of ancestral rituals to honor the memories of deceased loved ones. The life-affirming holiday is observed every year on November 1-2 and has become an important part of popular culture across the U.S. and beyond.
Día de los Muertos originated from indigenous mythology and its purpose is to help the deceased with their journey throughout the spiritual realm, or the afterlife.
Last year, I wrote an in-depth article about the roots and meaning of Day of the Dead. This year I change things up a bit. To provide a more visual illustration of this holiday, I showcase the film photography of my dear friend Viv Delgadillo. The featured photo collection was taken last year during the annual Day of the Dead exhibition held at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.
For a personal account of the first time I contemplated my impending mortality, check out this short story where I bare my soul a little.
This is the shrine to honor the memory of Rebecca Fuentes Davila (Viv’s aunt), a very active member of the Hispanic civic community in Chicago. Rebecca was born in Mexico to a colonel that was part of the Mexican Revolution. She immigrated to Chicago in the late 1940s and managed to teach herself English, raise a family and open the first minority owned business in the Hilton hotel chain. She was honored in the Museum of Mexican Art for her contributions to the Latino community. This is a beautiful example of a modern day altar used during the Day of the Dead celebrations.