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Families would come together to prepare an altar.”Like Garcia, he went to a cemetery at night.
And, like most people born and raised with an American sensibility, it was initially an unsettling concept.“To me, it was the most culturally unfamiliar part of the experience: To sit in a cemetery all night with a mariachi band and a picnic basket at the graveside.
It's becoming part of the national consciousness.”The garden designed its festival to appeal to people who connect with the spiritual aspect as well as those who are more into the playful aesthetic of sugar skulls and dancing skeletons.“That’s important for me on a deep level,” Schutz says. DAY OF THE DEAD: Landing page | 2016 events | Where to shop for Dia de los Muertos | History | Crafts | Recipes | For teachers and students “It’s a profound experience,” Schutz says.
“It can be shocking at first, when you go beyond the color and look at the deeper meaning. There was lots of decorating and bringing colors and flowers into the home.
When he came to the United States, annual visits to cemeteries stopped. He might go with friends, but it wasn't the same thing.
Art pieces are pictured at the Ofrenda Exhibition at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix on Friday, Oct. Ofrendas are offerings to the dead, as part of the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos. 2, displays original ofrenda pieces by local artists.
But now that his daughter, Frida, is 6 years old, he and his wife, Briseida Silva, have decided she can be introduced to the meaning behind the art that he does."I've been waiting for this moment so we can teach her about Dia de los Muertos," he says.
"At an earlier age, they don't understand it completely.
That’s not right.”He says he will hear people criticize certain Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, saying they’re not traditional.“But even what people perceive as traditional isn’t traditional,” he says.Now, however, “I don’t really follow with the religion anymore,” the Tempe man says with a chuckle.“I just explain to my kids: I don’t go to church or to cemeteries anymore.”But Day of the Dead is a key part of the art he creates. This year, he has a display at the garden of a spectacular ofrenda that stands 6 feet.For us, it's as important as teaching her Spanish."They talk about the grandparents and great-grandparents Frida never knew, and she listens intently."That's the beautiful part," he says.The loss of a child is a nightmare for every parent. If you did not bury your baby, do not not feel ashamed or guilty.
And that helps you cope with the other parts.”As Day of the Dead has expanded, there could be some fear that certain aspects — the spirituality, in particular — could get lost.