Today, folks living in Mexico and some Mexican-Americans here in the United States are celebrating Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. The celebration occurs in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2) and traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, as well as visiting graves with these as gifts.
“Death Becomes Him” (Pirate Skeleton, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/4, 1s, -0.3EV, ISO 640
“Se lo Llevo la Calaca” (Pirate Skeleton, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/4, 1s, -0.3EV
Due to its occurrence shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday even though the two actually have little in common. While Halloween is thought to be a time when the dead rise up and wreak havoc, the Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, focusing on gatherings to pray for and remember family members and friends who have died.
A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (colloquially called calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (colloquial term for “skeleton”), and foods such as sugar or chocolate skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead. (Sugar skulls are gifts that can be given to both the living and the dead). Other holiday foods include pan de muerto, a sweet egg bread made in various shapes from plain rounds to skulls and rabbits, often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones.
Huh, how perfect then for these two skeleton images I shot inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom using a slow shutter technique!