Day Of The Dead Celebration At Hollywood Forever Cemetery!

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Angeleno’s love to celebrate La Dia de los Muertos. And why wouldn’t they? Let’s face it, it’s the coolest holiday ever. You conjure up the spirits of your dead loved ones and you party with them! It’s like a spooky reunion that makes you feel warm and fuzzy about the concept of dying. It’s deep, but it’s fun.

And at Hollywood Forever cemetery each year, families of the people buried in those graves come and decorate the plots creating these artful ‘altars,’ not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of people that visit just to dress in their best ‘Calaca’ gear, honor the Aztec and Mexican traditions, and buy cool skeleton stuff. I took Violet and she loved it.

We joined the crowds entering the cemetery and started to look around, taking in some of the colorful altars and Aztec performers.

We met some friends and had a picnic by the picturesque little lake that features an island with a beautiful tomb where they staged an Aztec drum and dance performance.

Next we visited Dee Dee Ramone. We miss you Dee Dee! I’m quite certain it’s true that all good cretins go to Heaven.  Violet is posing with Dee Dee here in her Cinderella dress.

As the sun went down, the altars began to glow and become much more dramatic. We maneuvered our strollers through the crush of the crowds and enjoyed the amazing spectacle. Here are a few details and highlights. Not pictured is Violet chowing down on a ‘churro’ half the length of her body.

Halfway through the altar procession, my heart caught and I just stared across the crowd at this:

The man who wrote my high school yearbook quote, “Life is short, filled with stuff, don’t know what for, ain’t had enough,” is dead. Of course I knew, but I hadn’t quite believed it until I saw his incredibly awesome altar. Rock in peace, Lux!

A detail, for fellow Cramps fans. The picture of Lux with Poison Ivy flashed off and on in a really eerie way, so I had to take a dozen pictures to get everything lit up at once.

By the time we were leaving it was so crowded I could barely get the stroller through the crowd. I wanted to take way more picture – of the hundreds of vendors selling amazing artwork and crafts and the many bands that popped up at various altars – but man, it was like a New York subway at rush hour just to get through the main thoroughfare one time. Below you can get an idea of how crowded it was.

Yet Violet didn’t want to go home. It was a tough sell to convince her that we had to go when people with painted faces and costumes were still streaming through the gates, but I was exhausted. As I rushed her stroller past a group of teenagers dressed like skeletons going to a ball (“Mommy slower! I want to look at the skull princesses!”) her little limbs began to flail around and she was yelling, “I want to stay and party!!!”

So I guess we’ll go back next year!

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