Press Release – Wellington Zapatista Solidarity Group
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Sunday Ist November – two events
4pm MUSEUM OF WELLINGTON CITY AND SEA (Queens Wharf Jervois Quay)
OFRENDA and face-painting/preparation for the street procession through Wellington’s streets to Bar Bodega (departs 6PM)
7.30pm Bar Bodega 101 Ghuznee Street.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS Fiesta
Music, poetry, dance, and spot prizes
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an annual festival observed throughout Latin America originating in pre Columbian culture which celebrates life by honouring the dead. It is believed that on this day each year the spirits of the dead return to Earth to reconnect with the living, and re-experience the sensory world. Friends and family honour the deceased by celebrating in cemeteries, homes, and public spaces with food, flowers, music, and prayers. Colourful paper cut-outs called papel picado decorate churches and cemeteries. Fancy dress, especially skeletons and other deathly outfits, is the norm.
In recent years Mexicans living locally have brought this festival alive for New Zealanders, and once again invite Wellingtonians and visitors alike to share in their celebrations of this traditional cultural – and colourful – event.
At Museum of Wellington City and Sea/Te Waka Huia o Nga Taonga Toku Iho there will be a traditional Ofrenda on display as well as face-painting and preparation for the procession.
Ofrendas – or altars – often have a photo of the deceased, and are elaborately-decorated with flowers as well as objects, foods and drinks that the dead prized or enjoyed while they lived. It is believed that displaying their favourite things entices their souls to return to take part in the remembrance celebrations.
This year’s ofrenda is dedicated to Emiliano Zapata, Commandante Ramona, Subcommandante Marcos, and the people of Honduras. It will be on display from 4pm, and remain in place 1- 7th November. (Photo of Diego Rivera ofrenda in Mexico City in 2006 is an example)
There will also be face-painting and preparation for the street procession, which will leave at 6pm. The public is encouraged to join in, wear fancy dress, and carry colourful memorabilia of deceased loved ones. The procession will wind through Wellington streets to end at Bar Bodega – and the party will begin!
Inside Bar Bodega ($10 cover charge) there will be performances on the theme of life and death by a variety of acts, from poet Mercedes Webb-Pullman to musicians such as Bella Cajon, to Latin dancers, and more.
All proceeds from the Bodega event will go to the community of La Garrucha in Chiapas, Mexico.