SAFFORD – It’s not every day that the Catrinas waltz and sugar skulls sit ready to be decorated. For those who didn’t know, Wednesday was Dia de Los Muertos or The Day of the Dead.
The celebration of the Day of the Dead was in full swing at the Safford-City Graham County Library on Wednesday night. There were crafts, face painting and a presentation by Eastern Arizona College’s historical dance troupe, the Danseries. Not only was there crafts and performances, but there was also an alter set up to display memories of deceased loved ones.
Sally Holguin is the library’s operations supervisor. She told Gila Valley Central that she was pleased with the celebration. However, Holguin did want to address the common misconception that the Dia de Los Muertos holiday was about death.
“It was great to see such a great turnout,” Holguin said. “We are celebrating our loved ones who have passed on; we’re celebrating their life. It’s a misconception that we’re celebrating their death because it’s called Dia de Los Muertos. We’re remembering them. What I always tell them (people attending the celebration) is that you don’t have to believe it, just respect it. It’s just culture. So many people don’t believe it, but just respect it for those who do. It helps to celebrate the life and not focus on the death. The memories, we’re celebrating them.”
Toward the end of the evening’s festivities, the Danseries performed two historical dances. First, half of the group performed, “The Old Man’s Dance.” After this comedic short performance, the rest of the group performed, “The Waltz of the Catrinas.”
Photos were contributed by Salley Holguin.