Hollywood Forever Dia De Los Muertos – Saturday, Oct 24th, 2015
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Photos by Kim Crane Photography
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery was full of color, make-up, and life for the 16th annual celebration for the Day of the Dead. The Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) is a Mexican ritual that dates back 3000 years and focuses on gathering family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed away and to help support their spiritual journey.
Altars, (ofrendas) which are offerings in the name of the deceased, are set up in their honor, where family and friends share food, drinks, and music that their ones enjoyed.
This was my first time attending the Hollywood Forever Dia De Los Muertos. I was truly impressed by the time and effort that was put into patrons’ makeup and dress, and was touched by the love and creativity that went into the altars. It was heart-warming to feel the love that everyone shared for the deceased and for each another. The cemetery was lined with altars showing respect for the dead in colorful and interactive ways, booths with hand-made arts and crafts for sale, (including paintings, jewelry, and clothing) and there were quite a few food and beer stands as well. (The bean and cheese pupusa I had was amazing!)
Aztec dances and rituals took place throughout the cemetery grounds from 12:00PM to 12:00AM. Hollywood Forever Dia De Los Muertos also had a children’s art center, a costume contest, a cathedral art exhibit, and live music on three different stages. Lila Downs, Huichol Musical, La Misa Negra, El Mariachi Manchester, and Edna Vazque performed on the main stage.
No visit to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is complete without visiting Tracii Michaelz (Peppermint Creeps) grave to pay my respects, and stopping by Johnny Ramone’s (The Ramones) statue. For the Dia De Los Muertos celebration, the statue was surrounded by freestanding banners, and a row of marigolds (the typical flower for Day of the Dead celebrations) aligned the front of the statue itself, along with a traditional Mexican sugar skull.
For me this was a learning experience, an enjoyable night of appreciation, and a chance pay respects to the loved ones I have recently lost.
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