It’s been embraced the world over, and though it may seem macabre to some, for others it’s a time of reflection of love for ones who have passed on from this one to the next.
Last Friday, the Corpus Christi Art Walk decided to merge with the festival and celebrate the art of the living and the dead.
“I want to say it’s like a celebration of life,” Roel Palacios Jr., an artist and mask maker at the event, said.
“You have to realize that death and life are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.
“Instead of being obsessed or morbid about the fact that you’re going to die, it’s sort of an acceptance.”
Walking down the crowded streets filled with more than a thousand people, artists and purveyors alike, the fascination is evident.
And when the question arises as to why, no two answers are the same.
Michael Rodriguez, an artist from Premont, said, “I think there’s a mystery to it all.
“Everybody’s pretty unsure themselves about the afterlife, so there could be truth behind it or not.
“I think, it all being up in the air, there’s a fascination to it that possibly it could be true.”
Stephanie Garcia, a member of the Marketing Committee for the Downtown Management District, added, “I think it’s more cultural.
“We have a huge Hispanic culture, and it’s just nice for people to embrace it.”
And walking through the newly opened tunnel, lined with gorgeous, colorfully painted sheets and stark, black and white prints, you can see the many faces of death all along the walls.
Sara Gonzales, an art student from Oklahoma who came down for the event, mentioned, “I think people have a fascination with death.
“And I think that maybe they have a fascination with the occult. And people love ceremony.
“Civilization is highly attached to it. Humanity is attached to it.”
Beautifully ornate, painted skull faces filled your view every which way you looked.
Virgin Mary statues with painted faces sat on vendors tables.
Vivid paintings featuring men and women, ghouls and ghosts with traditional Day of the Dead face paint lined the streets.
It was sight to behold for sure.
Tarot card reader and artist Lindsay Rodriguez said, “I think it’s the beauty of life and death in general.
“We all live and we all die, and we can celebrate that because everyone lives and dies.
“It’s a beautiful culture as well.”
Pawnee artist and photographer Marivel DeLeon added, “I think it’s being able to feel the connection again to friends and family that were lost.
“I personally celebrate it because it’s spiritual, and, being a Latino and a Catholic, it’s something that I look forward to every year.”
So, as the sun set and the street lights flickered on, the crowd actually grew larger.
The cheers, laughter and music filled the night as people honored their loved ones with signs, prayers and songs.
And a little booze.
Besides, what’s the point of celebrating the dead if you don’t invite the spirits?