The Book of Life got to me last year.
It is a brightly animated, gorgeous film. The storyline was a typical fairy tale of love and loss, but the eye opening explanation of Dia de los Muertos upon which it was all set, had me falling in love with the festival even more than the beautiful film.
The custom is simple and perfect. November 2 is the Day of the Dead, a day to remember family and loved ones who have gone before us. Fiestas and offerings are celebrated at their place of burial. It is believed their spirits come and join in the party and it’s a wonderful, celebratory time.
Souls that are celebrated on Dia de los Muertos get to live in the Land of the Remembered, a brightly coloured land that is in constant fiesta (this is the kind of heaven I can get behind).
Those who go without memorial dissolve to the Land of the Forgotten where they blow away in dust (not a bad description of hell).
I love having reasons beyond Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day to celebrate. I greatly appreciate living in a multicultural community where my boys get lai see packets at Chinese New Year, where I look forward to bonfires at Nowruz, and enjoying sweet treats and bright lights at Diwali.
And, after Halloween, I look forward to watching The Book of Life on Netflix and remembering my grandmother, my aunts, my cousins, and all the people I have loved and we have lost.
I keep their spirit alive in my memory, celebrating the lives they lived, the gifts they gave us, and keeping them in the Land of the Remembered forever.
While your kids are fist deep into buckets of candy, take a pause this week to flip on The Book of Life. Talk about relatives you have lost, rekindle their memory, and add this wonderful family-centric festival to your traditions.
Dislcosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team.