Missoula Festival of the Dead Parade

Saturday was the final day of the Festival of the Dead celebrations here in Missoula. This was my first time down to the festivities and was it a blast! Some amazing costumes and hundreds of people honoring life and remembering those who have died through the promotion of community involvement in the arts.

I didn’t quite know what to expect, so initially I planned to use my 100mm lens to get some close up shots as the parade passed by, but once the it was underway I quickly swapped to my normal range zoom to get some of the tall banners and groups of people coming down Higgins Avenue. The rain started falling after about 15 minutes and made for some wonderful photos as the light started bounding off the raindrops, so I genuinely didn’t mind getting soaked as I knelt down in the street at times. I really love how the blurred effect of the long shutter adds to the feel of the event as well. After this, I will be sure to go downtown next year.

Wikipedia says:
Day of the Dead
 (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the Christian triduum of Hallowmas: All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.