Friday, November 2, 2007

Day of the Dead and Frida Kahlo

Today marks the end of the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead or Dia Des Los Muertos. You can find tons of info about the celebration here: http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/

Below is a picture of my jack o'lantern decked out in the fashion of a "calavera". I did a little bit of research on traditional ways of celebrating the Day of the Dead in preparation for a party in honor of celebrating the life and work of Frida Kahlo. The Walker Art Center is hosting an exhibit of Kahlo's work in honor of the 100th Anniversary of her birth http://calendar.walkerart.org/canopy.wac?id=3156. It opened last Friday so I threw a party to celebrate.
The party was a great excuse to visit the Midtown Global Market in my search of authentic Mexican candy and maybe even some sugar skulls for our ofrenda or altar honoring Frida. I visited Fiesta in America (http://www.midtownglobalmarket.com/?q=shopping/groceries/15) where I found the much needed skulls in addition to a huge array of candy. When I mentioned that I had tried tamarind candy before and not liked it much, the woman at the store threw a few different kinds of candy into my bag (chili spiced tamarind and some sweet pulp) and couldn't have been more helpful. Unfortunately, I still didn't like the tamarind candy but I have to think I'm missing something since a whole nation of people seem to love it. I also stopped at Cosecha Imports to stock up on Jarritos soda (http://www.midtownglobalmarket.com/?q=shopping/groceries/26).
Above is a picture of our ofrenda. Guests were asked to bring something to add to the altar, if these wished. Guests were also encouraged to wear their most festive, Frida-like outfits. At one point we had six or seven unibrowed guests in one room - a little surreal, sure, but lots of fun. Below is a detail of the altar; you can see one of the cool (inedible) sugar skulls. Also pictured are some of the postcards I picked up at the Walker gift shop.

After the preparations and party, I was too worn out to actually go to the exhibit last weekend. Anyway, tomorrow is the Walker's free first Saturday so I am planning to go then. There are lots of fun activities planned so I'm sure it will be mobbed. I'm really excited about the exhibit itself.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've made my own sugar skulls and decorated them with puffy paint, glitter, and sequins. You can buy molds and the meringue powder (needed to make the skulls hard) at www.mexicansugarskull.com, which also has lots of other fun Dia de los Muertos stuff. -Eileen P.

Laura! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura! said...

Oh, geez. That black tealight holder sure is neat looking. Oh wait! I brough that! Aaaaaaaaaaha ha ha ha.

Those sugar skulls were pretty attractive. I don't know about the candy except for the chiclets. Those were pretty tasty. Chicle!!!!!!