Last Sunday, I left work early to go to the Día de los Muertos street fair. It was in the Lloyd Noble parking lot, which is right by my apartment. So not only was it fun, but it was also convenient.
Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday, which actually is a multi-day holiday. It actually originated from an Aztec tradition, and it didn’t begin as a fall holiday, but after Mexico was colonized by catholic Spain, the holiday slowly migrated toward October 31 to coincide with All-Saint’s-Eve. The point of Día de los Muertos is to remember and honor loved ones and ancestors who have passed away. People build ofrendas, kind of like little alters, with candles, marigolds, crucifixes and photos of deceased family members.
A lot of traditional Día de los Muertos traditions have migrated to other parts of the world, brought along with Mexican emigrants. In the US, Día de los Muertos is not a national holiday, but it has become a cultural event–especially in states near the border like Texas and Oklahoma.
I’d never been to the festival. I was slightly surprised by how many people came to the Lloyd Noble event. I expected a big turn out, but I expected it to be mostly students. But there were so many people from Norman, Moore, and I even met a couple from OKC. It was also a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I expected food trucks and craft tables, like the events that we hold on the South Oval. But there was a huge stage where several bilingual performances took place, an eating area, and a few carnival rides.
I wandered around, got some street tacos and took photos. Unfortunately I was too poor to buy some of the art that caught my eye, like the handmade dreamcatchers. But I had a great time, and this kind of event is definitely something I’d seek out in the future.