The Day of the Dead celebration is a combined effort of the World Languages Department, the Vocational Education Department, the Art Department, and the Keeley Library.
El Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday and tradition that goes back three thousand years to the time of the Aztecs. It is the largest and most popular feast of the year. It is a holiday that celebrates life through death. It is celebrated from October 31st through November 2nd. Mexicans believe that during this period the spirits of their loved ones return to the earth.
In their homes, the people prepare elaborate altars "Ofrendas" to commemorate their loved ones. On the altars are placed the Bread of the Dead "Pan de Muertos," Sugar Skulls "Calaveras," Candles "Velas," Marigold Flowers "Cempasuchil," along with pictures of their loved ones as well as foods (comidas) and beverages (bebidas) that their loved ones enjoyed. The final step in this ritual is the lighting of incense, which is a sign to the spirits that everything is ready for them to return.
On November lst, Mexicans go to the gravesites to honor "Los Angelitos," young children who have departed from this world. On November 2nd, they return to the cemetery (El Camposanto) and have a grand feast. The graves (las tumbas) are decorated with flowers, candles and foods. Mariachi music is played while children play games, men play cards and women vendors sell food at the entrance to the cemetery. At midnight, the candles and incense are extinguished telling the spirits that it is time for them to return to the grave for another year. Another Day of the Dead celebration has come to a close.
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Last Updated: June 18, 2008