Remembering the Dead Publicly during Dias de los Muertos

Day of the Dead Flowers

Public installations of folk art take many forms in Mexico. As I’ve said before, folk art is handmade, it is regional, it’s made of material available in one’s community, the methods are passed down from generation to generation and it expresses a community belief or value.

Here a simple bouquet of cockscomb attached to a traffic light in the middle of downtown Puebla not only provides passersby with a dab of beauty, but reminds everyone who passes, that a life was taken at this location. Someone died here. It raises our awareness that death is out there.  In Mexico, death is not shoved into the back room. Death is a part of life and the Days of the Dead are a time to remember, both privately and publicly, those loved ones who have died.

Dia de los Muertos flowers in Puebla

Someone else died here.

One sees bouquets and shrines built along the roads and highways of Mexico all year long. But during these special days of November 1 and 2, spontaneous eruptions of bouquets of marigolds and cockscomb appear in the cities and pueblos,  reminding all of us that we are a mortal people and that life goes on after death.

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