La Catrina dances in Sweden

It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
It is the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.
It is the one who won’t be taken who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live…
Bette Midler

When I read in the paper that there would be a celebration of this holiday called Dia de los Muertos close by I just had to go and see it for myself.

Colorful celebration
Just look, isn’t this table inspiration per se?

I’ve known about Day of the Dead for a few years now, and I read about it on many cool blogs each year.

This year I experienced it myself at the Ethnographic Museum (Etnografiska museet) in Stockholm. Ethnography is the branch of anthropology that deals with the scientific description of specific human cultures. At the museeum they had put up a colorful table (ofrenda) with sugar skulls, flowers, beautifully cut paper flags and photos. The ofrendas are left out as a welcoming gesture for the deceased, like a offering of food, drinks and decorations for joy.

Colorful celebration & skulls (Copyright Hanna Andersson)

There were also a band playing Mariachi music, dance performances and a woman dressed up as La Calavera de la Catrin in a long black dress, big hat and a feather fan in her hand that she oh so gracefully was waving. She moved just like a ghost through the audience and I couldn’t take my eyes of her… Hauntingly cool really, and beautiful.

Some Mariachi playing (Copyright Hanna Andersson)

La Catrina in Sweden (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
La Catrina in flesh…

More of my photos from the Swedish celebration of this Mexican holiday;

Some Mariachi playing (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
I’ve been listening to some Mariachi music since I heard this band. Makes me wanna dance.

Dia de los Muertos 2009 (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
The whole ofrenda setup with photos, candles, sugar skulls, paper flags, flowers and offerings.

Skulls at Etnografiska Museet (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Painted Skulls.

And yet another photo of La Catrina in Sweden;

La Catrina in Sweden (Copyright Hanna Andersson)

I’m posting my Dia de los Muertos celebration photos a month too late, but as the Swedish saying goes: “better later than never”. I will try that approach for now. I wanted to post these photos because they are so colorful and fun, and very unSwedish of course…

6 Responses

  1. I just wanted to drop by and let you know that I?ve linked to gift tags/labels that you designed. The post is located here. There is also a text only post for slower connections just below it. Thank you for sharing your art so freely. I would love it if you would let me know if you have designed other tags or labels that should be included. And please, by all means, share this post. Stamp out store tags! ;)

  2. We also have this expression in french. ^-^ “Mieux vaut tard que jamais”
    Your pictures are all so beautiful. Everything is so colorful and artistic!
    I discovered Dia de los Muertos a few years ago via… craft blogs! I didn’t know what it was and fell in love with the idea. In today’s society, we tend to not speak about our lost ones and I think we should celebrate them like they do in this great celebration. :-)

  3. Wow! Love the photos.
    What a celebration….I am originally from the southwest and I can only imagine the music you heard.
    Thank you for sharing the photos.

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