Photographer and Professor Jeremiah Gilbert is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. To see Jeremiah’s portfolio click on any image.
L.A.’s Día de los Muertos Celebration
Los Angeles’ Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration proclaims to be the largest outside of Mexico and is held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a 117-year-old site. This year’s 18th annual event was held on October 28 and anticipated over 40,000 attendees visiting between noon and midnight.
Altars are the heart of Día de los Muertos, and there were approximately 100 community altars on display throughout the cemetery. These personal shrines celebrate the lives of those who have passed and can range from simple displays, with a picture of a deceased family member, to more elaborate, conceptual altars. Many include flowers, perforated paper banners, skulls, and even alcoholic beverages for the deceased.
Día de los Muertos helps the living celebrate loved ones who have died. Many people choose to become part of the celebration by dressing up as walking skeletons and painting their faces as skulls. In the past, participants and dancers used careteas, or masks, to scare the dead away at the end of the festivities. In modern-day celebrations, people paint their faces to look like skulls, decorating them to represent a deceased loved one or using them as an expression of themselves.
By Jeremiah Gilbert