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We launch our new website with something unique about Arizona – Tucson’s annual ALL SOULS PROCESSION. The 25th event took place on 9th November. David was mingling in the crowd taking photos. Jeannette contributes a few words of explanation about this event.

Costumed participants in All Souls Procession march through Tucson

Participants in the All Souls procession

 

The All Souls Procession is a do-it-yourself tradition, a yearly celebration of those we have lost. Over 100,000 participants dress in all sorts of outfits, wearing masks or painted faces, pushing odd contraptions, but all walking solemnly through downtown Tucson on a two-mile long route following the central object, a great Urn. The urn is escorted by specially prepared attendants who play music and collect the slips of paper that have the hopes, offerings and prayers of the public. The procession ends in an elaborate and inspiring finale – with special music, dancing, lighting, trapeze and stilt artists, and the burning of the commemorative Urn.

fire-dancers, stilt walkers, drummers and other performers.

All Souls procession – the finale

 

 

 

The Procession began in 1990, inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos holiday and one woman’s tribute to her father. Over time the parade has become one of the most authentic public ceremonies in North America.

It takes a large part of the year before the event, to create the art, altars, workshops, performer costumes, themes and sequences. It’s a big enterprise supported by donations. We Tucsonians value the All Souls Procession because it allows community members from all walks of life to mourn and reflect on the universal experience of Death by celebrating with Life.

This year we lost our friends Geza, Peter and MaryLou, and David placed their names in the urn.

The metal urn rests on a stand and the messages placed inside it are burnt.

The messages, pictures and prayers which mourners placed in the urn are burnt during the finale.

 

 

 

 

More of our photos for 2014 can be seen here, and photos from 2008 here.