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October 15, 2013 > A New Beginning - Day of the Dead

A New Beginning - Day of the Dead

Submitted By Christine Bender

Scholars trace the origins of todayÕs modern Day of the Dead holiday back hundreds of years to Meso-American and pre-Columbian civilizations. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors were observed by these civilizations for 2,500 to 3,000 years. One Meso-American civilization, the Aztecs, had a festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, Queen of the underworld, ruler of the afterlife. Similar to other Meso-American civilizations, the Aztecs kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual; the skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth. The Aztecs timed these rituals using the Aztec calendar, based on the Mayan calendar. Last year on December 21, 2012, Aztec and Mayan calendars completed the ÒGreat CycleÓ of the Long Count.

Today, the holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

In keeping with the Aztec idea of rebirth and the beginning of the next calendar ÒGreat Cycle,Ó Sun Gallery is celebrating the holiday with our annual Day of the Dead Art Show called ÒA New Beginning.Ó The exhibit draws together art works in a variety of media including painting, multi-media, photography, and sculpture from over 20 Bay Area artists, several elementary school students, and over 60 Castro Valley High School students from Miss Parker and Mrs. SuttonÕs classes.

Participating artists include Alex Miloradovich, Barbara Rockhold, Beatriz Castillo, Betty Isabel Fergusen, Christine Bender, David Steffes, Deborah Gallegos, Doyle Wegner, Florence P. Benjumea, Jackie Cernoy, Jane Nielson, Jeff Priess, Joseph Rodriguez, Karla Lopez, Kathleen Ball, Laura Kachelmeyer, Loretta Siegel, Maureen, Langenbach, Nina Starr, Patra Nesseth Steffes, Peter Langenbach, Philip Long, Richard Longo, and Valerie Medina.

The exhibit runs through November 10. Join us at our Artist Reception on Saturday, October 26 from 3 p.m. Ð 7 p.m. with food, music, and a dance performance from the Ballet Folklorico Tlapalli.

A New Beginning
Through Sunday, Nov 10
Thursday Ð Sunday: 11 a.m. Ð 5 p.m.

Artists Reception: Saturday, Oct 26
3 p.m. Ð 7 p.m.

Sun Gallery, Hayward Forum for the Arts
1015 ÒEÓ Street, Hayward
(510) 581-4050
www.sungallery.org

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