We are a group of volunteers in Australia who value community and commemoration. We are an evolving group. We started by offering public talks and workshops on the topic of death and grief. Western culture has few rituals to remember our dead, other than the funeral. We created this online community space to help fill this void, where our beloved dead can be remembered.
We do this because remembering matters. And telling our stories matters too, even the goofy and funny ones. We believe that we help ourselves, and each other, by sharing our stories. We seek a new cultural norm, where talking about our dead is welcomed, even celebrated.Our deceased family members and friends are gone from this earth, but not from our hearts.
The Mexican Day of the Dead is our inspiration. Day of the Dead is an ancient tradition that is celebrated annually throughout the world, including in Mexico. During this festivity, family and friends gather to remember their deceased loved ones through the making of an ofrenda (offering). While it is associated with death, Day of the Dead is a festivity full of life, happiness, fun and food that honours the cycle of life. It is a time to remember the dead, and a time to remember that we all die.
Ofrendas are the centrepiece of Day of the Dead festivities. Like Christmas trees are to Christmas, ofrendas are set-up and decorated with key Day of the Dead activities focused around them. They can be found in both private residences and public spaces. Typically, ofrendas share common features – such as photos of the deceased, flowers, favourite foods of the deceased, and items belonging to the ones being remembered. They are created with care and aesthetic appreciation, often holding treasured items that are seen only once a year.
Traditionally, the purpose of the ofrenda is to facilitate the relationship between the living and the dead. In Mexico, at the conclusion of Day of the Dead, when ofrenda food items are shared with friends and neighbours, the ofrenda is transformed and becomes a tangible exchange within the wider community, that nourishes both body and soul.
Our Logo ... Our Community
Ofrendas – our stories and images are ‘offerings’ made here to remember our beloved dead. We exchange and share these offerings with each other in the spirit of nourishing our community.
The flower – comes from nature and, like life, is beautiful, even if short lived.
The four cardinal points – everyone and everything is interconnected.
The circle – it honours the cycle of life, both birth and death. We are all held together within this circle because of our shared humanity.
The Ofrendas Project is evolving. Come join us!
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