Most everyone knows about piñatas. They are used for many celebrations in Mexican-American families, except for the Day of the Dead. Until now.
Día de los Muertos is a time to reflect on people who have passed away and to honor their memory. So, when a small group of friends — artists and activists — invited members of the public to a storefront at 1220 S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive to create large piñatas for this year’s Day of the Dead celebration, some might have wondered about the combination.
But visual artist Jose Alfredo Chavez described the holiday — not meant to be sad or scary — as a “joyful and colorful way to celebrate life.” He added, “I have no problem mixing piñatas with the Day of the Dead because culture evolves.”
Organizers were careful to explain the meaning of both traditions to those helping to make the piñatas. The community members worked on weeknights and weekends through October to build both piñatas and relationships. Their piñatas were a gift to people who gathered at Walker Square Park Saturday to celebrate the lives of people they’ve lost.