Dia De Los Muertos Honors Loved Ones
November 2, 2022
On the night of Nov. 1, Rhonda Costa, freshman secretary, and her grandson set up pictures of loved ones who have passed away and surrounded them with lights within an altar.
I feel like it’s all about just celebrating the dead and like what they were known for.
— Sanchez Perez
This altar is called an ofrenda, which is set up within the home with the intent of honoring the dead. For Costa, she was honoring former Principal Carl Hudson, her aunts, baby sister, nieces, grandma and some of her husband’s family.
Every year, on the first two days of November, the holiday Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated. On this day, people, primarily those of Mexican descent, honor their deceased loved ones by displaying pictures of them surrounded by items they were fond of, in an act of bringing their spirit back to life and celebrating the occasion with them.
Costa said it was important she introduced her grandson to the tradition from a young age, so that he will remember and celebrate his ancestors and learn more about his history in order to carry on the tradition to future generations.
“My mother passed away when she was very young, so he doesn’t know her or know any of that side of the family,” Costa said. “My family’s from California, so we’re the only ones here and so I feel like I’m the only one who can teach it to him.”
They will go to the cemetery and clean off the cemetery, the grave site and decorate them and have fiestas.
— Kelsey Smith
Laura Sanchez Perez, freshman, has a tradition of placing cigarettes around the ofrenda of her late grandfather in order to honor his memory with something they remembered him by.
“My grandpa used to smoke a lot, which isn’t healthy, but I mean, it was his thing,” Sanchez Perez said. “So we put out cigarettes and his favorite types of drinks. I feel like it’s all about just celebrating the dead and like what they were known for.”
Kelsey Smith, Spanish teacher, said people who celebrate Dia De Los Muertos often celebrate at the site of the cemetery where their loved ones rest.
“They will go to the cemetery and clean off the cemetery, the grave site and decorate them and have fiestas,” Smith said. “There are parties at the cemetery, which sounds very strange, but that’s part of what their culture is.”