Day of the Dead

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Missoula City Cemetery

Today is the Day of the Dead.  From wikipedia: Day of the Dead (Dia de los muertos in Spanish) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.  According to wikipedia Day of the Dead begins on October 31st and ends on November 2nd every year.  In Missoula we have a Festival of the Dead parade, which will happen later on today downtown, to honor and celebrate this honorable holiday, along with other workshops that go on around town in the week leading up to today.

Last Sunday a friend told me about a storytelling event that one of the oldest cemeteries in town offers every year around Halloween time.  I had never heard about it before and was interested in attending so I brought my stepson with me and his friend and we met up with my friend Rhonda to go check it out.  It was a nice autumn day last Sunday with hints of sun shining through the silver clouds, a spread of yellowing leaves on the ground, and a chill to the air.  Upon arriving at the Missoula City Cemetery we were greeted warmly and given a map of the storytellers that were located around the grounds.  The premise of the event was to have volunteers dress up in character and tell their story as if they were the one who had died and was buried at the particular gravesite they were speaking from.  They would tell the life story of that individual or talk about a certain event that occurred or offer other important information about their life.  They were all true stories and many of the volunteers also had pictures to show.  It was very well done and incredibly enjoyable to hear stories of the past.

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