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Photographer Tara Lowry shares images of darkness and light from Oaxaca’s Day of the Dead.

DAY OF THE DEAD and Halloween may look alike, but while Halloween has an obvious spookiness factor, it’s not REALLY about death. It doesn’t make you stare your mortality in the face and challenge you to dance on the graves of people you loved. Dia de Muertos reminds us, in all of its colour and darkness, joy and grief, nostalgia and celebration, that we must live, that death will come one day, whether we want to admit it or not. Its message: Don’t wait until later — live your life now.

Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico, is a bipolar affair. Without the vibrancy and colour, it wouldn’t be the celebration of life that it is. Without the darkness and melancholy, it wouldn’t hold the emotional depth that it does. The many contrasts and contradictions are what make the holiday.

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About The Author

Tara Lowry

Tara Lowry is a freelance writer/photographer and ESL teacher. An inability to make a 5 year plan and a passion for travel has resulted in a nomadic lifestyle that has taken her haphazardly across 4 continents. Check out her work at,, and If you would like to contact Tara do so at Facebook and Twitter.

  • Tamara Pelège

    Beautiful Pictures! Awesome :)

  • Travis Moe

    Tara, I’m moving to Oaxaca on the 25th, sight unseen. In Mexico City right now. Would you by any chance be willing to meet up when I get into town? I’d love a little orientation.

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