Haunts on Wheels Part 5: Altars for Car Lovers
Growing up on the United States/Mexico border, Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) has been a beautiful part of my world since I can remember.
Día de los Muertos is Latin America’s answer to All Soul’s Day. It has been part of the Mexican cultural landscape for at least 3,000 years and has elements of the “pre-Hispanic” indigenous cultures who displayed various items during certain rituals to symbolize death and rebirth. It is also sometimes infused with Christian elements, particularly as it falls at the time of the Catholic observance of All Saint’s Day on Nov. 1 in honor of all saints, known and unknown, and All Soul’s Day, Nov. 2, the Catholic celebration of the faithful departed.
Part of this tradition is building altars, or "ofrendas," celebrating the memory of someone who has passed on. This can be relatives, friends or a favorite person in pop culture, history and sports. Others use their cars as altars, as often seen during the season with car clubs.
Ofrendas often include a photo of the one remembered, plus many of their favorite foods, and objects associated with their life. There's even a Day of the Dead altar celebrating fictional racer "Doc Hudson" at Disneyland Park's Cars Land.
Even as the haunting season winds down, turn your sights...and car loving ways...to those who have already driven off into their last sunset.