By: Cassie Miller
Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead”, is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico every year on November first and second. People decorate altars with candles, fruits, bread, toys, and many other objects symbolizing the deceased person. Another tradition associated with this holiday is making sugar skulls out of chocolate. Surprisingly, these are used as decoration for the altars instead of for eating. Many people participate in parades and festivals as well.
People living in Mexico believe that the gates of heaven open on the night of October 31 and the deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for twenty-four hours. Then, on November second, adults are allowed to come to Earth to enjoy the festivities prepared for them.
In honor of this famous holiday, Mrs. Bejarano planned different activities and crafts for each of her classes to participate in during the week of Dia de los Muertos. The week is one that many students look forward to. Junior Madison Robson said, “I enjoy celebrating the holiday because we get to do different activities that are from different cultures.”
Students in Spanish II created their own altars to honor a relative or friend who had passed away. They brought in objects to decorate their altars and then everybody presented their altars to the rest of the class. The students got very creative by making their own flowers out of tissue paper and coloring skulls to add some color to the altars. Emma Miller, a sophomore in the class, displays her finished altar (right).
In Spanish III and IV, students made and painted skulls. The skulls were made by mixing white bread with glue until the mixture no longer stuck to the students’ hands. After each student’s skull dried, they painted them using bright colors. Most students agree that painting the sculptures was much better than mixing the bread and glue together.