The British Museum are putting on a three day Mexican Days of the Dead Festival from 30th October until the 2nd November.
There will be music, art and story telling. There will also be a huge painted selfie wall where you can take photographs of yourselves and your families. It measures 3 metres by 3 metres. It has been printed from this picture painted by our lovely Beatrice.
If you should be at the British Museum over the weekend please go and see it.
The annual festival in Mexico dates back over 3000 years. Families go to visit the dead and celebrate the cycle of life and death. They bring decorated sugar skulls, marigolds and the favourite food and drink of their dead . Dias de los Muertos coincides with the Catholic All Saints Day, but it predates it and in Mexico is combined with ancestor veneration. People build altars in their homes but on 31st October they keep their dead company in the cemetery. They believe that the souls of dead children are allowed back for this one night to be with their families. On 2nd November they are joined by the souls of dead adults. This belief that the dead return to their families on one night of the year is an ancient one and you find it in many cultures round the world. The Pagan Festival of Samhain celebrated by the Celts is very similar. The idea of remembering and having a party with your dead ancestors is rather lovely. Much nicer than trick or treating and dressing up in blood curdling outfits.
But Beatrice does spooky too. Here is the Halloween backdrop she painted. I don’t know who the scary lady is. A ghost perhaps. Or maybe a vampire. Is that a dead crow nestling amongst the flowers on her hat? I wouldn’t be surprised.
You may remember Beatrice and Bertie, as I wrote about their jetty garden earlier this year.
Congratulations dear Beatrice on the commission for the British Museum.
I don’t have any painted sugar skulls, but I do have a vase of marigolds which are the flowers the Mexicans liked to use for the Day of the Dead Festival.