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Day of the Dead Festival 2013

Home > Melbourne > Festivals | Parks | Unusual Events | Unusual Things to do
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
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Bring out your dead
Day of the Dead Facebook

In Western culture we quake in our boots at the thought of death, and as for ghosts, we duck under our doonas quaking with fear.

The Mexicans have a different tradition which they call Day Of The Dead, which in some ways is a whole lot healthier in its approach to death and dying.

Day of the Dead Facebook

Instead of shunning death they actually welcome their dead back.

In this celebration, which takes place on November 1st and 2nd, families gather to remember and celebrate with their dead because they believe the departed make an annual return visit.

Day of the Dead Facebook

[ADVERT]Sometimes families ease the return of their departed one's soul back to Earth by laying flower petals, candles and offerings along the path leading from the cemetery to their homes.

The flowers of choice are bright orange marigolds known as the flowers of the dead as their scent is believed to attract souls back to their loved ones.

People build altars honoring the departed which includes their portrait and personal knick knacks. Skulls made out of sugar decorate these tribute sites.

Day of the Dead Facebook

Families visit their graves bearing gifts. They even picnic on the graves of the deceased making sure they have the departed's favourite food and drink on hand.

Pan de los muertos ("bread of the dead") is eaten. This sweet bread often decorated with bits that look like protruding bones. It is said to be good luck if you are the one who bites into the plastic toy skeleton hidden by the baker in each loaf.

Day of the Dead Facebook

The occasion is festive, and everyone talks of the departed as if they were still in the world of the living.

This festival has been taking hold in Melbourne for a couple of years now with some quite overboard theatricalities such as weird and wonderful costumes and painted faces.

It's also tied up with our love affair of everything Mexican especially hot spicy food and array of great drinks.

There are a couple of events on in Melbourne which you might want to check out.

The 1800 Tequila Day of the Dead Festival will feature live music, Aztec dancers, street art, streetscape projections and a huge fiesta. It is organised through participation with the Mexican community. Expect lots of lively music, a DJ, death masks projected onto walls and a vibrant mariachi band.

This is held at 405 Flinders Lane, Melbourne on November 2; 3:00pm - 1:00am. Tickets are $35. Click here for more information.

Day of the Dead Facebook

You might also want to attend a festivity that has started running in Fitzroys Edinburgh Gardens. People decorate the well known rotunda with pictures of loved ones. There is entertainment, feasting and drinking. (Monday 4th of November 4pm- 8ish)

Just as in Mexico and other parts of Latin America death is not portrayed as a morbid or depressing time, but as part of life and duly celebrated with food, friends, family and fun.

Check out their Facebook page here.

Day of the Dead Facebook
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Why? To celebrate with out dearly departed
When: Mainly between 2-4th of November
Where: Various venues around Melbourne
Cost: Free to $35
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