Having been an educator in my past life, I am always excited about learning something new. Dia de los Muertos was no exception. It is a holiday that I have admired because of the joyous and vibrant way it reminds us to celebrate one's ancestors and loved ones, but I never really researched it prior to this tour. I won't go into it in my post, as several other bloggers have already provided some great information and history about the holiday (links to their blogs below).
There is a similar holiday in Japan, called Obon (literally translated, it is the "Lantern Festival", a holiday to celebrate the dead). It is a Buddhist holiday that takes place over a three-day period during the month of August, in which it is believed that the spirits of the dead return to this world to visit their family. Hence, most Japanese return home during this time to pay their respects to their ancestors.
As a child, I remember going to Japan over the summer to visit family and watching my cousins participate in the Bon Odori, a folk dance directed at the spirits of the dead. Everyone is dressed in a light summer kimono, called yukata, and dances to traditional music. What remains most in my memory from these summer visits are the beautiful lanterns swinging overhead in the evening as I watched the dancers go around in a circle in time to the music. Although it is quite somber (or at least, the versions that I have seen have all seemed somber to me), I love that everyone wears bright and vibrant colors, as if to celebrate their loved ones' return.
My daughter's kindergarten has a Bon Odori every year, and though these days I suspect not many people make the traditional yukata that people wear for the dance, I saw this beautiful fabric from Nani IRO and I just couldn't resist. For the actual dance, my mother-in-law was around to make sure my daughter was wearing her yukata properly, but for this photo shoot I just had to wing it, so if you are knowledgeable about how to wear a kimono, I advise you to look away.
Yes, I realize that she should probably not be wearing all those objects in her hair, as this is not a 7-5-3 Ceremony, but as soon as she caught sight of all the pretty hair ornaments, there was no dissuading her. And since it's hard enough as it is to convince her to participate in a photo shoot these days, I gave in. In fact, my original idea for this post was to make something fun for my girls using this awesome Cotton + Steel skull fabric I got from Miss Matatabi, but suddenly my older daughter decided that skulls are "scary" and my younger one said, "Black is yuck!" This is after I made an awesome pair of skull shorts that my older girl absolutely loved and wore all the time this summer. But the fan is a "proper" part of the outfit, so that is okay, at least!
Be sure to check out all of the wonderful stops along this tour! You will not want to miss what Mel has on her blog today (trust me, it is ama-zing!), and here are the other fabulous bloggers on the tour:
Monday, October 26 - Rebel & Malice - From a Box - Sews n Bows
Tuesday, October 27 - Call Ajaire - Hattielu Handmade - Made With Moxie
Wednesday, October 28 - Paisley Roots - Phat Quarters
Thursday, October 29 - Lulu & Celeste - Keep Calm and Carrion - Craft Lady Abby
Friday, October 30 - Whisk 'Em - Wild & Wanderful - Golden Rippy
Saturday, October 31 - Just Add Fabric - Filles a Maman
Sunday, November 1 - House of Estrela
Monday, November 2 - Rebel & Malice
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