27 November 2011

a spookily wonderful brand of eerie magic

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after work on november second, i rode my bike to 24th street and mission and into another world. the celebration of dia de los muertos – day of the dead – was in full swing and the atmosphere was thick with a spookily wonderful brand of eerie magic. i love love love this event. in keeping with latino culture, this day is set apart to remember and revere those who have passed on, and the mission district of san francisco throws a pretty rad party. i met up with my friend krissy, whose facepaint turned me and steph into skeletons, as that weirdly beautiful magic wafted around us. the energy on the streets during the day of the dead is so unique – a mix of sacred, edgy and exciting – mystic, dead and spine-tingly alive.

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there is a procession which all can watch and/or join in on. most everyone carries a candle and many carry pictures of loved ones who have passed on. one of the best parts of this event is seeing what kinds of incredibly cool costumes and creations people have come up with. music fills the streets and people dance, march and twirl down the road to the varying beats.

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after the procession we headed to a park where all the altars were set up. there were candles galore, including many hanging from branches and over the paths, flowers and notes and pictures and presentations set into the trees and arranged in the grass. it was so beautiful and felt so sacred. i loved the hallowed feeling there. we meandered through the crowds and memorabilia and everyone spoke hushed and everything was gleaming soft in the night.

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we ate amazing, huge burritos with our faces still dead at a hole-in-the-wall taqueria and chatted about which things we saw that we liked the best. the ghosts of the streets continued passing outside, and salsa replaced face paint. i rode my bike home with salsa and paint on my face, and i felt so happy for a little trip to another eerily magical world.

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6 comments :

  1. Charity!

    So. Here we go.

    I spent the last hour reading through your blog that I coincidentally [although I don't believe in coincidence] stumbled upon.

    And wow!

    Your story and the way you embrace life resonates with me on so many levels - although I am a 17-year-old German student ... which probably makes saying that pretty weird [oh well]! I love how you follow the Savior with such passion, grace, joy [!], and realness!

    Anyway ... why am I writing all of this at all? I was not succesful in finding a way to contact you [and I don't have facebook], but I would LOVE to chat sometime, if you are up for it! Let me know - my email address is lena.kaligaris@hotmail.de!

    Blessings to San Francisco!
    Lina

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  2. Elsie just walked up as i was looking at your post again. she caught a glimpse as i was scrolling up and said "GO BACK TO THE DOWN ONE"...
    then ahhhhhhh! in a really cute little voice. she loves spooky stuff. halloween is by far her favorite holiday. thanks for making her and i happy.

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  3. Wild! When we were in Mexico City last year all this was coming to a head. Fascinating stuff. It's hard to understand the skeleton mentality I think they are thinking of it more in commemorating the dead than it making something creepy and Halloweeny. What do you think?

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  4. " I love how you follow the Savior with such passion, grace, joy [!], and realness! "

    Excuse me??? The "Savior" absolutely forbids dabbling in the occult, magic, communicating with the dead - read your Bibles people....

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  5. in response to tazlady and amber:
    i am grateful for the words of the bible along with the advice of a living prophet to help me know what things to avoid in the world. i believe that celebrating halloween in a wholesome way with people i love is something perfectly acceptable, and 100% separated from any pagan or occult traditions related to the holiday. as far as dia de los muertos, i feel really glad that i was able to participate in such a beautiful cultural tradition. i felt the spirit of god and the spirit of elijah (malachi - turning the hearts of the children to their fathers) at that event. it was about connecting the human family, and recognizing the reality of life after death. i completely agree that we cannot have one foot in babylon, which is why i strive everyday to stay away from any place or happening in which i cannot feel the guidance of the holy ghost. both of these events were uplifting. i hope this answers your questions! thanks for reading!

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