Monday, November 9, 2009


El Dia de los Muertos (Day of The Dead) is an annual event in Tucson that coincides with the celebration of same in Mexico. (Not to be confused with Halloween.) Also known as All Souls Day, it's a time of remembrance for departed loved ones, and a simultaneous celebration of life. It's one of my favorite local events, because I love SPECTACLE. (Any time YOU want to make a spectacle of yourself, I'll be happy to egg you on!) The Mardi Gras style parade (above) took place on Sunday evening, November 9th.

Messages and names of departed souls are placed in the giant urn in top photo. During the spectacular finale, the urn is hoisted by a crane and set afire.

Below, just one of the many colorful participants who obviously believes that two heads are better than one.

Aerial acrobatics from a group called Flam Chen, based in Tucson. These fearless folks are hoisted high in the air by a giant crane, where they perform their derring-do. Yes--those are PEOPLE spinning around up there! And there's NO net. (Many of them are acquaintances of mine--they say you're known by the company you keep, so I must be as crazy as they are!)

Bottom video: A little of the ambience as we gear up for the parade.


  1. Amazing what desert rats can get in to, or is that into...looks like a real desert mardi gras, spectacle and all.

  2. Wow, this looks just FANTASTIC! Wish I could have seen it. My birthday is on Halloween (no jokes about that please), so it would have been great to celebrate this way.

  3. I read about this Mexican fest in a BBC report recently, Tim....was interesting to read, but to be at the site of such spectacles..It scares the hell out of me! :)


  4. TERI,
    It's that kind of town--a little tequila and everyone's ready to take to the streets.

    Hey, at least your birthday's not on one of those gift giving holidays...those poor people get shorted on the presents!

    The aerial ballet as shown in the video is amazing, and can definitely make you nervous!

  5. Feliz Dia de los Muertos! Did you put the names of your dearly departed into the cauldron?

  6. Wow that's cool, take tons of photos and show them, don't be shy you don't need to be good, the cam could do it all for you...neat video too on rock and roll!!!

  7. KOBICO,
    I've done that in years past, but this time I just tossed my paper plate in there cuz I couldn't find a trash can! :)

    Thanks for the does sometimes seem that if you've got a great shot, all you need to do is hold the camera steady!

  8. Wow, Tim, that's amazing! It looks like tons of fun! I think it's a nicer holiday than Halloween too because it centers around celebrating the dead that we care about.
    So those are your swirling friends...LOL
    Have they talked you into giving it a go yet????
    I can see you now swirling around the sky on FIRE!:))
    Really neat post! It looks like you had a super fun November 9 :))))
    Hugs to You :)

  9. Hi Tim

    Sorry I haven't been around in a while. I hope you missed me.

    It wouldn't be difficult for me to make a spectacle of myself so I think I would fit right in in Tucson. They look like my kind of people. Thanks for sharing what looks to be fun times.

  10. KELLY,
    Actually, I do practice SOME of the stuff they do (at a much more basic level) on what's called the "silks." They hang from the ceiling and you climb up them and get wrapped up in them and spin around or whatever--it helps to keep me in shape. But no, I ain't ever going up in the air like that! :)

    GOOD to hear from you. When you're making a spectacle, I want to be there!

  11. @TheChicGeek: if you go back to the Celtic tradition of Samhain, one of the rituals on which All Hallow's Eve is thought to be based, it actually is, in part, a celebration of the dead. The wearing of costumes and masks is thought to have evolved in order to ward off the dead you didn't want to visit!

  12. I wish I could have seen it. My sister went to a Day of the Dead festival in Mexico a few years back and said it was fantastic. One day I hope to see it for myself. Thanks for all the footage1

  13. oh wow, this is actually pretty cool, i never knew ppl actually had a 'festival' to celebrate

  14. KOBICO,
    Yes, but off the top of your head, what's the capital of North Dakota?

    I hope you make it too!

    We had a festival here to celebrate the opening of a bridge underpass--WE LIKE TO CELEBRATE! LOL

  15. US geography is not one of my strong points! I know Bismark and Pierre are the names of two state capitols, though. Maybe one of them is ND?

  16. Well, you've narrowed it down, anyway!

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