Photo Credits: Maria Rios
The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los muertos, is celebrated by Hispanic Cultures on November 1st and 2nd. This is a holiday to honor their deceased family members or friends. The families believe the gates of heaven are opened up so they loved ones can come visit for 24 hours. The families prepare many different activities for them to do and for them to watch.
The families spend so much of their paychecks to prepare for the 24 hours. They prepare many different things: candles, buckets of flowers, mounds of fruit, peanuts, stacks of tortillas, and bread-of-the-dead. Along with the food, there is a lot of soda, hot chocolate, and water for the fallen family members.
The families create different little decorations like sugar skulls, paper mache skeletons, and candles. All of these are considered a spiritual offering to the dead. The skulls get decorated with all kinds of different colors and different shapes and patterns. The sugar skulls can be dated back to 3000 years ago!
Yulisa Mejia (12) does not celebrate Day of the Dead, but her family in Mexico does!
“We like to make their [the deceased] favorite food. It’s not a party, but more like a remembrance of their life. You all [Americans] celebrate 911 and we celebrate Day of the Dead,” said Mejia
I learned all of this during my Spanish I class, taught by Mrs. Rios. Rios is from Panama and when she lived there, she also celebrated Day of the Dead with her family. Rios told us all about the two days and that it is a big celebration.
To celebrate in class, we made hot chocolate, a student made Bread of the Dead, another made cookies to decorate in class, artistic students made Day of the Dead masks on some fabric, and and the class also made another mask. While we were making some of the cookies, we watched a movie about the Day of the Dead.
“Making day of the dead cookies was very fun! It was very interesting learning their culture and how they celebrate!” said Savannah Hamilton (10).
Mrs. Rios went all out for our celebration in class. She decorated the whole room with Day of the Dead stuff.