Death and all its glory was on display for thousands this weekend in Santa Ana in celebration of Noche de Altares (Night of Altars) as apart of the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) ceremonies.
Vendors of all sorts filled the streets with color and cultural decorations. Vendors were selling a variety of candy, painting traditional Mexican sugar skulls on attendees, and the streets were full of music and dancing.
In addition to vendors, attendees also had a chance to appreciate and admire hundreds of altars decorated in candles, colors, flags, and flowers of all kinds. Some altars were also built in memoriam to artists and celebrities that had passed.
One altar was keenly embellished in signs that read “RIP Santa Ana, Stop Gentrification,” and another in memory of the victims of the horrific Orlando night club shooting. While most were altars for family and community members that had passed., each altar was unique and held a special piece of the family members’ hearts.
Vanguard students Dakota Self and Madison Pierce were in attendance and were mesmerized by how much life filled the streets.
“These colors and visuals are insane, I had no idea what this was but its awesome!” Self said.
Pierce shared similar emotions.
“I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect…the colors and people were so kind and happy, it was beautiful!”
Day of the Dead draws its origins from Mexican traditions where families honor and celebrate the lives of their deceased loved ones. Day of the Dead is a combination of indigenous and Catholic traditions. It consists of many celebrations including the Night of Altars.
The night was a true to its roots and was a genuine cultural experience.