Dia de los Muertos By: Audrey McQuillan

Have you ever witnessed a huge party in a middle of a cemetery? A party where people are dancing, decorating graves, drinking, and eating. For most people the death of a love one can be hard and remorseful celebration. That is not the case for many in Latin America. People throughout Latin America come together and celebrate Dia de los Muertos on November 1 and 2nd. This holiday originated from early Spaniards in the 16th century. Today, many families throughout the world celebrate the death of their loved one in a positive way. Here at Seton high school many students participate in this celebration in either Spanish class or Spanish club.

Dia de los Muertos is a celebration that is celebrated across the world. Seton High school’s Spanish II and IIII teacher, Nancy Jenkins, discusses her sister’s experience, “My sister, Sue and her friends went to a cemetery on Day of the Dead in Mexico. My sister discussed how families came with a variety of foods, flowers, and drinks. She explains this day as a solemn, but a happy celebration. Sue was saddened by the thought of our deceased mother, but she observed that it was a joyful practice remembering the lives of family members. I have heard that families bring the favorite foods of their loved one in order to celebrate as if they were there with them.” Along with preparing food and drinks for their loved ones, many Latin Americans create an altar in their homes. The altar is filled with many pictures, candles, and objects that were special to their deceased family member. Many say that they feel the spirit of their love one with them throughout this holiday. Festivals and different celebrations roam throughout the streets of Mexico. Many Latin Americans make sugar skulls and sell them on the streets. According to National Geographic, “Family members often clean and decorate the graves of loved ones on Dia de los Muertos.” Many go out to cemeteries and decorate their loved one’s graves with different pictures and special objects that symbolizes their life. After everyone has decorated the graves, they throw a big fiesta in the middle of the cemetery. On the streets, individuals dress up as the dead, and paint their faces in the shape of skeletons. The purpose behind this day is for people is to feel the presence of their love ones, and to celebrate their life in a positive way. Many High School Spanish classes discuss this holiday, and participate in different activities associated with this holiday. At Seton High school, students create their own altar in memory of their loved ones. Many Spanish students bring in pictures of their loved ones that they have lost. Along with creating an altar, Seton High school’s Spanish club creates sugar skulls each year. Throughout history, Dia de los Muertos has influenced cultures throughout the world. Many families have noticed this tradition and celebrate their loved ones life in this way.

Work Cited

Society, National Geographic. “Dia De Los Muertos.” National Geographic Society, 9 Nov. 2012, http://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/dia-de-los-muertos/.

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