Day of the Dead
The first ever DIY Festival was held in October with the bold and possibly kinda weird theme of death. There was a balance of ghoulish fun and some quite thoughtful stuff about how we deal with this inevitable thing we never seem to talk about very much.
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
Songs about death
'It can now be awkward buying a skull,' say Alain de Botton. I expect that's right.
This short film is a good way in to thinking about what you might like to do at our Day of the Dead Festival.
Here's what people contributed at the
DIY Day of the Dead Festival
WE WANTED TO HAVE THINGS THAT REPRESENT A RANGE OF ACTIVITIES AND FOCUSES, A BALANCE OF PLAYFUL AND SERIOUS. PEOPLE WERE FAB AT MAKING THIS BALANCE.
Festival goers paid Charon a coin to cross the River Styx aka our driveway
a dramatic opening
On arrival festival goers paid Charon a coin to cross the River Styx into the underworld.
Nice job, Karla.
Some traditional mexican things
Bec and Tom painted our faces in the style of Día de los Muertos.
Emma and Josie made the altar, onto which we pinned photos of people we knew and loved who had died. We left offrendas to our dead on the altar. Bec brought some sugar skulls.
Later in the evening we told stories about our dead around the campfire.
The wailing of tormented souls
This kooky bit of theatre kind of just happened, as new arrivals were delivered down the driveway.
The really moving part of the day was Lisa teaching us all the beautiful Irish tradition of keening.
getting into the spirit
Everyone was encouraged to dress the part, and get into the carnival spirit of the day.
the art of death
There were a few artworks made around the theme of death, including this carpe diem board. Everyone wrote on this to say what they'd like to do before they die.
Betty lead us around the driveway in a sombre march. It got the blood pumping which was handy on such a cold day. It was a good thing to do after we'd had Solange and Damo's cocktail, Ernest Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon, which involves absinthe. Crikey.
As the day turned into night, we were relaxed enough to dive into more philosophical stuff.
Stories were told, there was a poetry circle and a singalong to songs about death. I bet we still all remember J-L's song 'Dance in the graveyard,' which I catch myself humming every so often.
Stephen burned a story he had written which he says felt ritualistic and good.