Sep 4 2013

NM Wine Festival in Bernalillo

It’s always entertaining hanging out with a bunch of happy people, music, and essentially an open bar on an extremely hot day. The 2013 New Mexico Wine Festival over the Labor Day weekend was no exception. I was there to help Amy tend her art booth (and, alas, did not get to sample any of the wines except a glass from the friendly folks and booth-neighbors at Ponderosa Winery), but it was a highly entertaining event. There are a surprising number of New Mexico wineries! Grapes prefer difficult soil and wines prefer dry climates during harvesting. As long as the grapes are established and get enough water, in theory they should thrive in many parts of New Mexico.

Amy M Ditto tending her photography booth. Amy was the only photographer at the festival. Most photographers stopped attending the Wine Festival due to poor sales. Amy was undeterred.

Amy M. Ditto tending her photography booth. Amy was the only photographer at the festival this year, but there were several other artists, including several jewelers, painters, glass and tile artists, and sculptors.

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Feb 5 2011

Dia de los Muertos y Marigolds Parade, 2010

El Dia de los Muertos, the day of the dead, is a tradition steeped in thousands of years of history, dating back the Aztecs. The holiday in modern times is celebrated in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints and All Soul’s day and is a time for family and friends to gather and remember the dead. Private altars honoring the deceased adorned with offerings of favorite foods/beverages of the deceased, candy skulls, and marigolds, are often constructed, and fiestas and parades are common to celebrations of the holiday. For more on the history of el Dia, visit Wikipedia and for information regarding the annual parade (which the photos below are of), visit Muertos Y Marigolds.Org.

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Sep 10 2010

Burn, Baby Burn: Old Man Gloom Goes Down! (The Burning of Zozobra)

Zozobra is a hideous but harmless fifty-foot bogeyman marionette. He is a toothless, empty-headed facade. He has no guts and doesn’t have a leg to stand on. He is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. He never wins. He moans and groans, rolls his eyes and twists his head. His mouth gapes and chomps. His arms flail about in frustration. Every year we do him in. We string him up and burn him down in ablaze of fireworks. At last, he is gone, taking with him all our troubles for another whole year. Santa Fe celebrates another victory. Viva la Fiesta! – A.W. Denninger

Hands down my favorite “holiday” event, the annual burning of the effigy of Zozobra signifies the cleansing of anguish, anxiety and gloom- a symbolic purge of all that that is negative in our lives. In this way, I think of it as a kind of New Mexican New Year’s celebration. A tradition since 1924, there is nothing quite as exhilarating (if a bit disturbing) as standing in the crowd of thousands shouting “burn him!!”. For a full history of the event, visit the official website. While the images below aren’t quite as good as being there, we hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed capturing them!

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