Day of the Dead Festival

I have only missed this festival once since coming to OU, and it was while I was in Australia last year. It seems to improve each year too, which makes me sad that I won’t get to go to another one (at least for a few years). This year they had more rides (all of which were free) and far more food trucks around than ever before, although the increase in food trucks may say more about Norman’s changing dining options than about the festival itself. In keeping with the culture of the night, I did get homemade tamales from a food truck at the edge of the festival, and I have to say they were probably the best tamales I’ve ever had (and I have had homemade tamales several times before). The vendors were also more numerous and diverse than in previous years. My friend Liz and I passed booths selling amazing art – decorated Day of the Dead skulls, wall hangings, and jewelry, as well as a variety of less related items from crystals and stones to children’s souvenirs, even self defense equipment like tasers and mace. The festival had live performers too, including several acts in Spanish and Spanish cultural dances. Unfortunately I got there after the cultural acts were done, but I did get to hear a fantastic pop music performance in Spanish. Possibly my favorite part of the festival though was the altars that were set up in the entrance. A couple appeared to be set up for specific people, with photos of individuals – maybe relatives of members of the clubs that put on the event – and items that seemed a bit more specific than the general altar offerings of bread, marigolds, and bright decorations. Others were more general, with no photos and only the basic elements present in most altars. They all seemed well done though, carefully arranged and beautifully decorated, they were a reminder amid all the carnival-like rides and booths of the cultural significance of the holiday.

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So this is the slightly awkward place where I'm supposed to describe myself in like two sentences. I am a Chemistry/Pre-Vet major aiming to become a zoo vet someday. I'm into BBC shows, fantasy novels, and staying up way too late with my roommates. I spent a summer in Italy studying organic chemistry and getting lost on the train system, and now I'm in Australia, studying instrumental chemistry and getting lost on the bus system. I guess some things never really change.

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