Dia de los Muertos (DDLM) or the Day of the Dead is a traditional holiday in Mexico when deceased friends and family members are remembered and celebrated. It is a poignant time, both solemn and joyous, with colorful artistic traditions, pageantry, and whimsy despite the sobering subject. Dia de los Muertos is a joyful remembrance in which death is recognized as a natural part of the cycle of life.
In the arts, everyday life is represented in skeletal form. A common symbol of Dia de los Muertos is the skull or “calavera” often represented in masks, candy, and other curios. Traditional activities include making sugar skulls decorated with brightly colored icing, papel picaco (cut paper banners) and paper mache’ masks and figures. Some people believe possessing Day of the Dead items, like tattoos, dolls, sugar skulls or jewelry, can bring good luck.
Souls of the deceased return to visit loved ones on the days of October 31-November 2. In preparation for the reunion, families create altars to honor the deceased with ofrendas (offerings) of yellow marigolds, memorabilia, photos, favorite foods, beverages and trinkets of the departed. Religious and spiritual symbols, like the Christian Cross and Virgin Mary often adorn altars, as well.
Because it is a national holiday in Mexico, schools and government offices close, and the streets are decorated. People, young and old alike, participate in the festivities: parades, dancing in the town square, and processions to the cemetery. At the cemetery, the spirits are honored with music, dancing, poetry and stories. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as people recall funny events and stories about the departed. In some areas of Mexico, they picnic or even sleep at the gravesite.
This celebration has gone on for centuries in Mexico. By presenting the Dia de los Muertos festival and educational programming, we are providing an opportunity for people to learn about this rich cultural tradition of Mexico, to create a connection to our past, and to honor and celebrate the deceased.
Our DDLM Festival assists with cultural tourism by drawing artists, vendors, musicians, and festival-goers to Corpus Christi and to the downtown area. To enhance our DDLM programming, K Space Contemporary has added cultural art workshops during the month of October and a fine art exhibition. During November, a thematically associated exhibition will be displayed in the main gallery, including the Extravagancia de Piñatas, a contest and exhibition of piñatas constructed by area K-12 schools (groups/art classes/art clubs). These student groups compete for cash awards for classroom supplies.
The 7th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival was held Saturday, November 1, 3 pm to midnight! The festival is held in the 400-500 blocks of Starr and 500-700 blocks of Mesquite Streets in downtown Corpus Christi. Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume. The event includes live music, Mariachis, Folklorico dancers, Hecho a Mano Art Expo, Kids’ Activities, community altar, food, drinks and more. Texas A & M University Art Department’s “Hold Steady Iron Pouring Crew” will be on hand offering visitors a chance to create their own miniature iron sculpture while the Printmaking Department will be print customized t-shirts. A community altar is located inside K Space Contemporary.
Many of Corpus Christi’s favorite artists will be on hand selling their work and El Dia de los Muertos themed items.
The Hecho a Mano Art Expo features over 75 artists offering everything from jewelry to sculpture to all kinds of Dia de los Muertos related trinkets. Those that are interested in being a vendor will find guidelines and registration information under “Vendor Information” on this website.
We are accepting sponsors and seeking volunteers. Sponsorship information is available at http://www.diadelosmuertoscc.com. Anyone interested in volunteering may call (361)887-6834.
Dia de los Muertos Street Festival is coordinated by the Electra Art*Axis Tattoo, K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi Downtown Management District, and House of Rock. Proceeds from the event benefit K Space Contemporary, a 501 (C) 3 non-profit arts organization.
Happy 4th! North Padre Island National Seashore released more turtle hatchlings this morning, and gave a short educational program at the visitors deck.
To see the newly hatched Kemp’s ridley sea turtles: Kemp’s ridley eggs are just starting to hatch, and the hatching process can take several days. The exact dates of the releases depend on how quickly the eggs hatch, and how the hatchlings become ready for release. It’s all up to the hatchlings. The park usually does not know that they will have a release until the day before.
Public releases are held starting at 6:45 a.m. on the beach in front of the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore on North Padre Island. Call the Hatchling Hotline at (361)949-7163 for the latest information on the release oer visit their website at www.nps.gov/pais for the projected release dates. The nesting season could continue for three more weeks.
If you get up early to enjoy the turtle releases, just don’t come back to the national seashore with your fireworks, firecrackers, or sparklers. The park announced that those items are prohibited on park lands and are subject to seizure. If you want to enjoy fireworks, Padre Island is having their own second annual display on the main canal by Three Fathoms Bank. Last year we could see the display all the way from the ‘Bluff, so enjoy the display tonight!! Happy 4th!
Most people think of beads, bare chests, and booze.
On Padre Island, they do Mardi Gras— barefoot.
According to http://barefootmardigras.com/,”Barefoot Mardi Gras offers a Texas style carnival atmosphere right on the beautiful beaches of Corpus Christi. Catch some beads and rays while advocating for youth!”
The 5th annual Barefoot Mardi Gras Parade and Party was this past weekend on North Padre Island. The event benefits Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization. The parade started at noon on beach down from Bob Hall Pier at Padre Balli Park.
So if you are around the Coastal Bend this time of year, you might want to check out this islander twist on Mardi Gras. If you want beads, beautiful beaches, and bare feet, this could be the Mardi Gras for you.
With all of this cold crazy weather this winter, there will be plenty of hormone-filled, Spring- feverish breakers coming to our little strip of sand here in South Texas. We here in the Coastal Bend have noticed that the traffic has been steadily increasing over the years here, but get ready for more.
So, if you want a quiet time here at the beach, well, it may not be happening for the mid-part of March. However, you will probably have a quieter time over at Padre Island National Seashore or maybe even at Rockport. The Port Aransas Beaches and many of the beaches on North Padre and definitely South Padre Islands will be busy. But just like March, it roars in like a lion, and leaves like a lamb.