Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 Dia de los Muertos events at Café Mayapan

I've been really bad about keeping up this blog over the last few years. Seems like the decline of blogs and rise of other social media have kind of made them a little bit more obsolete. Still, I will try to share what I find. Here's some information on the annual celebration at La Mujer Obrera/Café Mayapan...always a favorite here in El Paso!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dia de los Muertos events in El Paso this year...

I've been looking for Dia de los Muertos events here in El Paso this year, but it seems like there are fewer than usual, likely due to Halloween falling on Saturday.  Here are ones that I could find, and I hope you will share with the page any additional ones.

October 30, 2015
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Dia de los Muertos Reception.  
The El Paso Museum of Art and the Consulate General of Mexico, El Paso partner annually to present a Dia de los Muertos altar.  The 2015 altar (designed by the Chihuahua artist Ernesto Pinedo) will honor Dimetrio Macias, the main character in the novel Los de Abajo, penned by Mariano Azulea in El Paso. The volume is regarded as one of the most iconic novels of the Mexican Revolution.  The altar commemorates the 100 anniversary of its publication and celebrates the centenary birth of Demetrio Macias.  Pan de Muertos and Chocolate Caliente will be served.  The altar will be on view October 27 through November 1 , 2015 in the C2 Gallery.  Admission is free.

October 31, 2015 
3-10 p.m.
La Mujer Obrera / Centro Mayapan
2000 Texas Ave, El Paso, TX 79901
“Cosecha, Maiz y Mitote”
La Mujer Obrera, a local non-profit, women’s empowerment organization invites the community to celebrate Dia de los Muertos: Cosecha, Maiz y Mitote. Featuring live music, traditional foods and artisans. Featured performances include: Danza Azteca Omecoatl, Wise Latina International’s: Yo Soy Teatro, The Chamanas, Lucia Carmona, Danza Azteca Tlaneztica, Ceiba, Christina Gurrola, and Los Chamukos. The community is invited to participate in Calavera Poems, Altars, and Catrina Contest.

November 1, 2015
1-9 p.m.
2nd Annual Dia de los Muertos Catrina Festival & Electric Parade - San Elizario Historic District
Activites include catrina ballet folklorico, poetry & storytelling, calavera pistolero & horse show, catrina parade & catrina contest, catrina museum adventure, car show, strolling catrina musicians, charro calavera, vendors, altars, face painting, ghost tour, live music and more.

November 1, 2015
2-8 p.m.
The Concordia Cemetery Dia de los Muertos Festival in El Paso, Texas, is a cultural and spiritual celebration that takes place annually and commemorates the loved ones we have lost. The one-day engagement sees revelers dressed in vintage Mexican clothes complete with skulls painted on their faces, and there are also 10-foot mojigangas (dancing skeleton puppets), a scavenger hunt, live music, poetry readings, arts and crafts and ceremonial offerings.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Dia de los Muertos events at Mercado Mayapan - El Paso - November 1, 2014

My daughter enjoying some pan de muerto

My cempasuchíl ("flor de muerto")

I've been growing cempasuchíl (Mexican marigolds; "flor de muerto") for about 10 years; all propogated year after year. I acquired seeds at a Dia de los Muertos event and have had good luck growing them. They are about three feet tall. I had a really good crop of them this year!

Mexican marigolds are not native to the El Paso area, as they require a quite a bit of water. But they are well worth trying to grow!

Dia de los Muertos 2014 - Dancers at Concordia Cemetery - El Paso, Texas

Alamo Ballroom - Dia de los Muertos events - November 1, 2014

Here are some photos from the Dia de los Muertos fiesta at Alamo Ballroom - November 1, 2014 - events brought to you by the Borderland Fridas!!

 Me and my daughter!

 The Alamo Ballroom's awesome events manager Deady Page!

My daughter with Deady Page!

 Mask by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...I purchased this one...

Paper maché work by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...

Paper maché sculpture by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...

Artwork by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...

Artwork by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...

Artwork by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...

Artwork by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...

Artwork by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...

Artwork by New Mexico artist Raymond Sandoval...


Monday, October 20, 2014

A trip to Dreadful Things, 2226 Montana Avenue

My daughter and I finally made a trip to Dreadful Things. I'm kind of ashamed that it took me this long to get there, because this is my kind of place. The store is a really well done blend of Dia de los Muertos, carnival sideshow and freak attractions, natural oddities, gallery and jewelry. The only other place somewhat similar to Dreadful Things in El Paso is the decades-old Dave's Pawn Shop on South El Paso Street, but they really are two of a kind.

Dreadful Things had a very cool cabinet of curiosities that highlights the very colorful shop. There's something exciting to see around every corner and is well worth the trip to 2226 Montana Avenue.

Also, the prices at Dreadful Things are very reasonable...my daughter found an awesome steampunk necklace for only $12! Lots of local artists are represented at the gallery.

Check out Dreadful Things on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/dreadfulthings

Dreadful Things' cabinet of curiosities

Detail from Dreadful Things' cabinet of curiosities 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

There are some really cool Dia de los Muertos animations on YouTube. Here are links to some of my favorites...

CGI Student Academy Award Gold Medal Winner Short Film HD: "Dia De Los Muertos" from Whoo Kazoo

¡Viva Calaca! Part 1

¡Viva Calaca! Part 2 - Pink Elephants on Parade

Hasta los Huesos

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos


 The Book of Life Official Trailer


"The Book of Life" movie trailer & brief thoughts...

Well, it certainly seems appropriate that I'm looking forward to "The Book of Life," an animated film directed by Jorge Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro.  Dia de los Muertos is its primary inspiration! Here's a trailer for the movie, which opens on October 17. 

UPDATE: I was able to catch "The Book of Life" with my 13-year-old daughter on October 19 (my birthday). I have mixed opinions on the film. The animation is really beautiful, and the ways that many of the traditions of Dia de los Muertos are mixed into the film are really well done. However, I felt there were too many one-liners that were trying too hard to be clever. Very typical of animated movies for kids 7-12 years of age. Personally, I wish that the "tone" of the movie had been more like "The Corpse Bride"; more differentiation between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Really, if the whole Dia de los Muertos subplot was taken away, it's a classic story of two guys vying for the hand of a beautiful woman. Still, I'm happy I saw it, and it is a lot better than many other animated films out there. It really is a visual feast. I just didn't feel like I had seen anything REALLY special. 

Dia de los Muertos cakes at the Ranch Market

Saw these cakes and display at the Ranch Market on Yarbrough last week. They also had pan de muerto!

Dia de los Muertos signs at World Market

I saw these very cool Dia de los Muertos signs/posters at World Market. These ones weren't for sale, as they were for point-of-purchase. World Market also has some DDLM-inspired pieces, including items for the film "The Book of Life," which comes out on October 17.

The overwhelming majority of DDLM items in my personal collection are true folk art from Oaxaca and Veracruz. A lot of the items you'll find at stores are now made in Peru or China from molds. They may be hand-painted, but they tend to lack the individuality of items that are made by artisans in southern Mexico.

Dia de los Muertos events at Café Mayapan - 2014

Here's some information about this year's Dia de los Muertos events at Café Mayapan. The Mexican state that is being celebrated is this year is Oaxaca.