|Día de los Muertos - November 2, 2012|
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|A traditional altar was
set up on the lawn
|Detail of the altar and the tapestry of the Virgin||Inglewood Park Florist,
Jaimee Cantrell, sold flowers
|Some visitors dressed
for the occasion
Inglewood Park Cemetery hosted a small reception for visitors observing Día de los Muertos—"Day of the Dead"—on front lawn. With our increasing Hispanic population, this annual event will, no doubt, grow in size and scope in the coming years.
How Did it Start?Over 3,000 years ago, the people of Meso-America, such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec, and other natives of Mexico, practiced a ritual honoring the dead. Their belief was that this life is but a dream, and that one would only truly wake up once the flesh was shed and the soul was free.
Día de los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead," is the continuation of this celebration in honor of those who have died. It is a day to remember, to share stories, and to ensure younger generations do not forget their ancestors.
Spanish missionaries, spreading Christianity in Mexico, attached the celebration of the dead to their own theology, tying Día de los Muertos to the Catholic remembrance of "All Saints" on November 1. Today, Día de los Muertos is celebrated on November 2, the Catholic "All Souls Day."
Practices vary, depending upon where one lives, but visiting the cemetery, and decorating graves with flowers and candles, eating the foods enjoyed by deceased loved ones, and offering gifts such as toys for the deceased children, are common activities.
Inglewood Park Cemetery served pan dulce (sweet bread), juice and coffee, and candy for the children.
720 E. Florence Avenue · Inglewood, CA 90301 · (310) 412-6500