Sunday, November 1, 2009

Celebrating Dia de los Muertos at the British Museum

This morning when I got on the underground to head to church I saw a sign I had never seen before. If you can't read it, it says "Peak hours - may necessitate that you let other people sit on your lap" Are you kidding me!!!! Haha! I haven't seen that yet, and I hope not to.
This is the church building. It has all the normal chapel stuff and then upstairs has classrooms and then another floor with family history library and employment services. Really nice building.
Today was Stake Conference. The stake is very diverse. At least half are from Africa, and there were quite a few Americans and then people from other places in Europe. The stake president is about 30. So unusual to think of the church as being young over here, but it really is. During the meeting the Mission President was talking about the impact that each person can have in the church on future generations and he asked all those who they or their parents were the ones who joined the church.... at least 90% of the hand in the room went up. Lauren has friends in their mid-20's who are bishops. I didn't realize that would be so different. And of course all those young men step right up to the plate and do a wonderful job.

After church I headed to the British Museum where they were having a celebration for Mexico's Dia de los Muertos. Always celebrated on Nov1 and 2 they celebrate and remember their dead. This is just outside, what beautiful homes and the fall colors and air just made it all the more beautiful.

This is Russels square near by. Experiencing Autumn has been really stunning.
This is the British Museum.

All these figures were made of paper mache...figures like this are very commonly seen on the Day of the Dead. The figure of the woman on the right is a particularly common one.

They had organzied a little parade around the grand hall of the museum.

Hearing the mariachi music made me feel right at home.

Check this guy out! It was a pretty amazing parade.

Even had the dancers!

A little later in the afternoon, the stilt guys did a little dancing performance. Pretty entertaining to see them do lifts and all on stilts, but as expected not the smoothest salsa I have ever seen. Pretty impressive though.

For the rest of the day I just enjoyed the exhibits at the museum. They had a section form most of the ancient civilizations. The one from Mexico was pretty imipressive.

I really liked this Buddah....very happy man.

They also had tons of mummies.

Here are the remains of an Egyptian from before they did mummification...3400 BC!

A huge statue of Ramesee II

The Rosetta stone! I didn't realize before why it is so important but it helped us to interpret ancient Egyptian heiroglyphs. It is a paragraph written in ancient egyptian, then again in more modern egyptian and then a third time in greek.

One of the huge statues from Easter Island.

The Lewis Chessmen. These might look familiar to any Harry Potter fans. The real life chess game from the second movie was figured after these ancient ivory chess pieces. It was discovered in the 1800's somewhere in Scottland.

They also had a whole section about clocks. This one was pretty impressive. That tilted plate on the bottom had a metal ball that rolled down a little maze back and forth until it came to the end and tipped the plate the other way. It takes the metal ball exactly 30 seconds to make it from one end to the other. Pretty creative.
So, the museum was really impressive. I did find though that like many other places in Europe, it just had so much that it was hard to take it all in. That is the beauty of living here...I'll just come back! Happy Dia de los Muertos!

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