Día de Los Muertos

Ixchel Salgado, Citlalli Velez, Ashely Lorea, Staff Reporters

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

El día de Los Muertos, or most commonly known as the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration where people gather together to celebrate loved ones who have passed, but have not been forgotten.

The celebrations span over the course of three days to relate with the Western Christianity triduum of Allhallowtide: All Saints Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.

Starting on the night of Halloween and continuing until November 2, the Day of the Dead, involves bright colors and treats.

There’s a common misconception that these celebrations are like a Mexican Halloween, however, the Day of the Dead focuses on remembering ancestors and has lively festivities.

Some traditions involve placing the favorite dishes of the deceased at the altar. The altar is decorated with sugar skulls and colorful banners.

The Spanish tradition also includes festivals and parades. As well as gatherings at cemeteries to pray for their deceased loved ones at the end of the day.

On November 1, the actual celebration begins with El Dia de Los Inocentes. This celebration focuses on remembering the younger ones who have passed away.

On November 2, which is actually the Day of the Dead, where as aforementioned, everyone who has passed is being honored.

While the holiday was originally created in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America.

Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer.

Learning how to cope with mortality has always been a fight within the human existence. The celebrations of the Day of the Dead provides an insight into how the Mexicans do it.

El día de los muertos is also celebrated in our Spanish classes here at Shepard! “We eat pan de muertos,” said foreign language teacher Nathan Visak, “and we do some fun crafts like making masks”.

Pan de muertos is a Mexican sweet bread decorated with extra dough lining the top to symbolize bones.

In the Spanish classes the teachers focus on teaching the basics to their students on why it is so important.

“Students should know that Día de Los Muertos is about lovingly remembering the members of one’s family that have passed on,” said Señor Visak.

Unfortunately, the day of the dead is one of those traditions that begin to fall out over time.

Although Mrs. Frausto does not celebrate this tradition she makes sure she informs the students here at Shepard how important it is to us.

“It’s a part of our culture it’s really important to keep our traditions alive,” says Spanish teacher Denise Frausto. “A lot of the times we’re losing that because we’re becoming apart of the United States culture.”