Our Lady of Guadalupe is featured on many altars along with the favorite foods and drinks of the deceased persons. I was amused to see a pet altar. Sharkey, Hyam, Tomato and two gerbils, Mousecop and Javante, had their own altar.
The four elements of nature are usually on the altar. Earth (food), Wind (hanging paper cutouts), Fire (candle flame), and Water (any vessel with water). A towel and soap are placed on the altar so the returning spirit can wash after the long journey. Beer, water, wine or Tequila are to quench the thirst of the spirits.
I enjoyed the altar with the many Monarch butterflies because of the symbolism of the gathering of souls
on the breath of the Monarch.
Even John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, had an altar. On the altar were his books, his picture, a pipe, Farmer Maggot's mushrooms (which didn't mean anything to me) a picture of a large dragon and one of his quotations: "Not all who wander are lost."
Alfombras, or sawdust carpets, in different designs are also in the exhibit. I found out that the carpets originated in Oaxaca where streets and cemeteries are decorated with the colored sawdust.
As November first draws near, I am sure there will be many altars being set up to honor the dead. Beginning on October 10 there will be a walking tour of 22 altars placed by the various merchants along Main Street in Longmont. More people will be able to enjoy the beautiful tradition of Dia de los Muertos.
"What a lovely way
I remember you
and love you too!"
October 1, 2014