The Day of the Dead

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Sidney Ortego, Staff Writer

On Monday, October 31, Señora Landry’s Spanish classes held a party in honor of the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Miertos (or Day of the Dead). This traditional Mexican holiday celebrates the belief that the beloved souls of family members descend from Heaven to spend time with the living members of their families. This holiday began over 3,000 years ago by the indigenous people of Mexico; they would honor the dead by cleaning their skulls. This was later revised into a religious holiday by the Spanish Catholic beliefs.

In modern times, the celebration starts with the descending souls of the children on October 31 at midnight. To prepare for this, the families decorate beautiful altars in their homes with skulls, fruit, flowers, papel picados, pictures of the loved ones, and any other offerings special to the loved one. The families also visit the graves of their loved ones, and clean and decorate them. Towns also have parades and parties, much like Louisiana festivals.

In Señora Landry’s class, students began their celebration early the week before the holiday by researching the history, traditions, and celebrations of the Day of the Dead. Then, on Monday, the students brought in sweets, homemade altars, paper flowers, and skulls to decorate the classroom. After eating and admiring the beautiful altar display of all the decorations, the students began discussing the various aspects of the Day of the Dead. Overall, this was a great experience for students because it allowed them to understand and respect a different culture’s traditions.