Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, the annual celebration of life and death, is poignantly and joyfully celebrated each year at Hollywood Forever, the old cemetery in the heart of Hollywood.
Each year, people construct beautiful and colorful altars to the dead, and paint their faces in the beautiful and traditional designs, and wear the chromatic costumes, that have been used for ages. Altars are constructed for family members, as well as for beloved departed, such as the great Robin Williams, who was the recipent of a beautiful altar featuring massive paintings of him throughout his life, pictured below.
Hollywood Forever is the final resting place of many of Hollywood’s greatest luminaries, such as Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, Tyrone Powers, Peter Lorre, John Huston, Mickey Rooney, Joe Frisco and countless others. This annual event is one of Hollywood’s greatest and most poignant new tradition, as thousands don costumes and paint their faces in honor of this sacred day, and its precise balance of joy and sorrow.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on the snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn’s rain. When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there, I did not die.–Native American Poem on Death & Life