Noor Qadri

Students couldn’t help but enjoy their time at El Dia de los Muertos celebration, hosted by La Fuerza Latina, an organization on campus that promotes awareness of Latin culture.

Attendees snacked on soft sugary bread and decorated sugar skulls with frosting.  

On November 2, the organization hosted El Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday.

Los Días de los Muertos, or in English, The Day of the Dead, celebration consists of three days.

The holiday is primarily celebrated in Mexico and various North American regions, which can be traced back to indigenous cultures and the Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess of Mictecacihuatl.

It is mostly celebrated in summer months, but Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place by the Christianity or Catholic triduum Allhallowtide or All Saints Day.

Therefore, on October 31, celebrates Halloween, November 1st All Saints Day, and November 2nd is Dia de Muertos, and together they make the Los Días De Los Muertos.

La Fuerza Latina embodies the message of this day, by hosting an event that contains the laughter of life.

People of all backgrounds waited in line for a taste of Pan de Muerto, the bread of the dead.

The sweet and soft bread is a staple dish for the holiday and enjoyed by many at this time of year.

A sugar skull painting station that involved decorating Calavera or skulls with frosting, and though they are made from sparkly sugar it is not encouraged to eat them.

There were games, like musical chairs for attendees to experience community.

Maria Hollobaugh ‘18 expressed what the celebrations meant to her.

“I learned about it in art class in fifth grade. The day of the dead is more culturally meaningful than Halloween. I know that Halloween has roots in paganism, but the cultural origins aren’t a thing that matter anymore. This [Day of the Dead] celebration, celebrates the culture of people and their past. It is a beautiful way to honor life,” she said.  

Altars called Ofrendas are constructed to honor the dead, and at the event, an altar was placed in the front of the room for all to see.

Upon the altar were candles, pictures of loved ones, and the trademark flower of the holiday, the golden marigold.

“The common misconception is that we are [celebrating] death, but that’s not it. We are celebrating the life of people that have left,” said David Villagomez ‘19 a psychology major.  

The holiday has been absorbed many other traditions to celebrate the life of passed loved ones.

In Mexico, people go into cemeteries and create altars for loved ones.

Access to graveyards is limited in the U.S., therefore the celebration has been adapted to the creation of altars and celebration within the home.

“In my community, it was not celebrated as much, but with La Fuerza Latina putting this event on, the day of the dead has a new meaning to me. It is the celebration of our life,” Villagomez said.