Hello sugarskulls, and happy Monday!

Yesterday afternoon was the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) parade in Albuquerque’s South Valley. It’s also known as the Marigold parade, because in Mexico, Marigolds are known as Flor de Muerto, or flower of the dead. The flowers are thought to attract the souls of the dead to the offerings or comments that the living have left for them. Facilitators, those Marigolds.

I’d never been to the parade, despite years of hearing how awesome it was. I brought my camera along, because I thought you’d like to see a little flavor of New Mexico (and regular Mexico).

One quick housekeeping note, these photos are not in strict chronological order (although I tried to keep the sunset ones together so it wouldn’t be jarring to your senses), they are in my personal aesthetics order.

If there was ever a parade that screamed “community love,” it was this one. The vibe was so friendly and warm, despite the scary makeup and death theme. Here, take a look:

One aspect of the parade that surprised me was that it was very political. Albuquerque style politics. I’m not sure why it surprised me, since everyone was just looking out for their families and neighbors, but it did. I grouped the messages together (they were more spread out along the parade route):

You won’t see a scene like that in New York. It felt like a privilege to witness all these folks walking together with a purpose.

There aren’t a lot of one percenters living in the South Valley:

I have to admit, I got a little teary eyed at seeing all the families and community activists. It was so heartwarming.

It was great to see so many people coming together for their community. Even the animals were in on the fun:

Mommies and babies, too!

Hey, it’s Rose (and her son) and Mary! You ladies looked great!

The stroller float was a collection of tricked-out strollers. Adorable!

This was easily the most colorful parade I’d ever seen.

It wouldn’t be Albuquerque without the hot rods:

Everyone was showing off, it was very funny.

Yes we are!

Such a great event. I hope the photos gave those of you who live elsewhere a sense of what this community is like.

I took many messages from the event, but I think one of the most important ones is that life itself should be a celebration. It’s terrible to lose a loved one, but how lucky are we that we got to know that person at all? That we got to love that person. That we get to continue loving people. Life is precious, life is fleeting. Yesterday’s parade was an exercise in living in the moment, and it was glorious.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.