10th Annual Day of the Dead Ceremony


10 years ago, the Natural Death Care Centre saw the need in our community for a non religious, culture free ceremony to remember and honour those loved ones who have died. Members of the NDCC and friends came together and held the first ceremony and event in Heritage Park, Mullum.

Over those 10 years, hundreds of people have come each year with their photos, mementos, even the Ashes of their families and friends.

The annual Day of the Dead ceremony is an opportunity for everyone to come together to honour and remember loved ones who have died, are dying, or who are lost to us in some way. Although it has the same name as the South American celebration, this is a uniquely Australian cultural experience, open to any religion, spirituality, belief or culture.

An opportunity to celebrate and create positive social and cultural change. The Day of the Dead is a wonderful way to introduce children to death and bereavement in a gentle and positive way.

As part of the NDCC local celebrant and Deathwalker, Zenith Virago will facilitate the event starting with the creation of a community shrine or photos and personal mementos, as well as writing messages for loved family members or friends.

Bring your blanket, or a chair, if it is a sunny day, bring a hat. As always, local community artist Sam Collyer will be on hand to inspire, guide and help with her organically themed and sustainable creativity. You are invited and encouraged to bring photographs or a special something for the shrine.

The Crystal Castle gates open with free entry at 3.30, art from 4.00 to 5.00, then from 5.00pm till 6.00pm Zenith will conduct an inclusive Ceremony of Love & Remembrance accompanied by the Biggest Little Town Choir. At the close of the ceremony participants can choose to join a silent, procession along the Rainforest Walk to the sacred grove, the Forest of Friends and Family, to leave their crafted mementos, which will slowly return to the earth. Children are welcome, but please keep them with you during the ceremony. Please note, this walk not suitable for those with mobility issues but their mementos can be carried by others and placed on their behalf.

Zenith explains, “We offer this event each year, to bring death, dying and loss back into our own hands and hearts. As individuals and as community we are all touched by loss, and we see the need for people to honour and remember those they have loved who have died, recently or a while ago, without the shock or the rawness of the funeral. We offer this day towards healing and acceptance. Death is the natural and sacred end of our lives, those we love are always a part of our lives as they continue to live on in our hearts.

The NDCC charity has an “inspirational dream, that every individual, community and service provider has the knowledge and capacity to do death well.” They believe in a holistic, empowered approach to death, dying and loss and encourage people to be informed of their options and to make good choices, and to participate as fully as they choose, for an easier bereavement.

All are welcome to the Day of the Dead celebrations on Sunday 13th November.

For more information, see www.naturaldeathcarecentre.org

When: Sunday, 13 November 2016
Where: Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens at 81 Monet Drive, Mullumbimby
Time: 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Cost: Free Entry from 3:30 pm for all people attending this special ceremony

For further information visit crystalcastle.com.au