Día de los Muertos: A day honoring dead loved ones

From Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. Families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration.

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CREDIT: NICK FEWINGS | UNSPLASH

Two decorated skulls to celebrate the Day Of The Dead.

Día de los Muertos is unlike any other holiday. It’s a day of remembrance for the dead and the living.

The two-day celebration, originating in Mexico, takes place from Nov. 1 to 2. It celebrates deceased loved ones. Usually, family and friends come together to set up and decorate ofrendas, or altars. 

“I celebrate Dia de los Muertos by lighting candles for my loved ones and friends who passed away,” senior Isabella Rivera said. “We light candles for them and place them in front of their pictures. We also visit the cemetery, leaving flowers for our other dead loved ones that have passed on.”

This year, Rivera, a member of the Spanish Club, is helping to decorate an altar with other club members to celebrate.

Senior Antonio Hermenegildo celebrates with his family by visiting the San Fernando Park to host arts and crafts sessions. 

“We provide sugar skulls for kids to decorate with frosting,” Hermenegildo said. “We also share knowledge about the history of Día de los Muertos, such as its origin and how it is celebrated.”

On Dia de los Muertos, sugar skulls represent death through sweetness and nostalgia.

But in modern-day celebrations, people paint their faces to look like skulls, decorating it to represent a deceased loved one or an expression of themselves.

Senior Alice Alcantar looks forward to spending the holiday with her family, making altars for loved ones who have passed away.

“To prepare, my family and I purchased cempasúchil flowers and candles to decorate the altars,” Alcantar said. “On the altar itself, we put pictures of our loved ones who have passed, and objects they liked. Once the day arrives, we place food and drink items that they enjoyed since it’s believed that they come to visit us and eat what we leave out for them.”