Gina Hyams Author

2011 Day of the Dead Altar

Our Day of the Dead altar stretches six feet across the living room windowsill. We adorned it this year with crabapples, quince, blue corn, chile peppers, and a handful of scrappy marigolds.

My mother’s father and mother, Ralph and Mae. A bowl of salt traditionally represents the spice of life and flowers its ephemerality. The tequila is meant to lure the spirits back for a party. Candles light the way.

My father Ralph (a concrete-amathyst ring he made and his Boy Scout handbook tucked behind the marigolds).

Dave’s father Bob (one of his favorite pipes propped on the picture frame) and brother Peter. Etta-pus is represented by two cat figurines. The glass of water is meant to quench the spirits’ thirsts after their long journey.

Dave’s brother Peter, Dave’s mother’s mother Helen, and my brothers Jan (that’s his blue bird of happiness) and Charlie.

By night.

2 Responses to 2011 Day of the Dead Altar

  1. So beautiful and moving. I’ve admired this tradition for years, without thinking that I can bring it home. Grateful for this inspiration.

  2. nancy gonzales says:

    thanks hon for sharing the lovely pix and comments. i don’t remember if i told you that the bluebird of happiness belonged to my beloved Kay G. who died right before jcb was diagnosed. i brought it home for him after her memorial and he treasured it. thanks for reminding me it lives in your happy home. abrozos, -n

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