By Emily Jimenez | Staff Writer
In most North American traditions, death is commonly mourned, not celebrated, but in common Spanish speaking traditions death is celebrated and remembered. On November first Dios de los Muertos, a
Spanish-speaking holiday, will begin and last two days.
“November first is seen as a day to celebrate the children that have passed. The second is All Souls’ Day,” Spanish teacher Juanita Castillo said.
A common misconception of this holiday is that is morbid and all about dying. What this holiday is actually about is celebrating and remembering the lives of those who have passed on. It’s about family and friends gathering to honor their loved ones.
“It’s a very cultural aspect of seeing death as not as mournful or a sad time, but as something that gives you time to remember them,” Castillo said.
To celebrate this holiday many families make altars where they place pictures of those they are remembering. They put the deceased’s favorite foods on the altar to give them sustenance in the afterlife. They also put on a few of their favorite things and a lace table cloth.
During the celebration there is a lot of food and music. They decorate sugar skulls, which are made of sugar but aren’t edible. This is a very traditional ornament and is a symbol of Dios de los Muertos. Face painting’s of skulls are also popular.
This year the Spanish Club is trying to bring the spirit of Dios de los Muertos to Johnson. They plan to put a big altar in the library display case. They will be including the names of loved ones who have passed on.
They may also put up a remembrance wall where Johnson students can place the names of their deceased loved ones and even their pets who have passed away.
Dios de Los Muertos is a day that reminds its celebrators to think of all their loved ones who have passed away and all the memories they shared.
“With life,” Castillo said, “we just sometimes forget, we put things on the back burner, and those two days are meant to honor the people who were in our lives.”