Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Laughing at Death

In Cemeteries on October 31, 2010 at 11:12 am

El Gran Fandango de las Calaveras by Posada

El Dia de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead. A beautiful, delightful and also irreverent dance with death in Mexico.

Picados hung for the holiday

Decorations, flowers, incense, toys, candies- all to welcome back the spirit of the dead loved ones, and also to mock death itself.

Sugar skulls - waiting to have names in icing written on them

The evening of November 2nd is also reserved for decorating graves and lighting them with candles to welcome the spirits of the dead.

Welcoming spirits in the cemetery

And, music at night, and at day

The Violin Player

An important and fun holiday – with a different point of view of what role death plays with us.

Gato by Posada

Cempasuchitl, the marigold, the traditional flower for Day of the Dead - to help guide spirits back to Earth for the day.


Color and Fun – Coffins from Ghana

In Cemeteries on October 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

Carpenter with his coffin

Unique. Non-standard. Individualized:

For the Ga tribe in coastal Ghana, funerals are a time of mourning, but also of celebration. The Ga people believe that when their loved ones die, they move on into another life — and the Ga make sure they do so in style. They honor their dead with brightly colored coffins that celebrate the way they lived.

A happy rooster

A happy rooster

The coffins are designed to represent an aspect of the dead person’s life — such as a car if they were a driver, a fish if their livelihood was the sea — or a sewing machine for a seamstress. They might also symbolize a vice — such as a bottle of beer or a cigarette.

Ghanaian pineapple coffin

Ablade Glover, an artist who works with coffin carpenters in Ghana, says the coffin acts as a home in the afterlife, so it must be beautiful. But he laments that after putting so much time into creating the coffin, it gets hidden underground.


Bolts of fabric as a coffin

More images:

An Ideal Park!

In Cemeteries, Pathways on October 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm


A place to cross paths with others


Copenhagen has done it. Beautifully. In 1760. Assistens Kirkegarden Cemetery in Copenhagen is a popular burial spot for Danish notables, and is also very popular with tourists and Copenhageners.


Refreshing spaces for people


The cemetery is one of the largest open green spaces in Copenhagen, so it is used by many.


Biking and strolling


And, yes, it is a functioning cemetery.


Hans Christian Andersen's grave


There are many, many inviting spaces in this park cemetery…


A private little path


Sunbathing too…


Actually using and enjoying a cemetery lawn



Gravesites that feel fresh


Entering, moving around, leaving – on foot, bike, and skates….




I can’t think of any other cemetery that is used more by the living. There are a number that are used as much, Pere Lachaise is a favorite example, but there are far, far too few of these…yet.

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