Special thank you to our parents, faculty, students, and staff for their work in constructing a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Altar for our community. It is featured in the study commons for classes and students to view. Members of the middle school diversity club learned more about the ofrenda after school on Monday.
"Dia de los Muertos is such a special tradition in my culture, and I always love being able to set up the altar at school," said Gina Montagna '22. "Whenever I pass by the altar while at school, I feel so happy and proud that my culture and traditions are being represented in our community. It always turns out so colorful, and it really brightens up the commons! This year, Latinos Unidos helped make the paper flowers for the altar, so many of us were able to see our work actually displayed on the altar."
Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. November 1 is Día de los Inocentes or Día de los Angelitos and honor dead children. On November 2, adults who have passed away are remembered and honored with Día de los Difuntos. The holiday originated in pre-Hispanic cultures, including Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful as death was a natural part of life's continuum. Latin American custom combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores.
Sometimes set in three tiers representing heaven, purgatory, and earth, elements of the "Altar de Muertos" often include:
Personal belongings of the deceased: They can be photos or some object that they used
Cross: Represents the four cardinal points
Pan de Muerto: Represents the host’s generosity
Candles: Guide the souls to the Altar
Flowers: Their aroma and color guide the souls of the deceased
Copal Incense: The passage of life and death
Food & Water: To delight and to quench the thirst of the souls
Calaveritas: Represent the deceased of the family
Papel Picado: The union between life and death
"Every year, I have the opportunity to share with our students a little bit about our Latino culture and I had the blessing to honor my grandfather and grandmother with our student body and our Spanish classes during our Día de los Muertos," said Señora Garcini, Senior Class Dean and Spanish Teacher. "My abuelitos are gone but will not be forgotten."