Día de los Muertos y Ofrendas

Cartoon representation of an Ofrenda. Photo by Google

Cartoon representation of an Ofrenda. Photo by Google

Maryann Compton, Kristina Enright

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A special time for many Mexicans, Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that is mainly celebrated on November 1st, but can start on October 31st and end November 2nd. This holiday honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations that originated from the Spanish conquistadors. Normally when remembering the dead, it is a sad and mournful time, but the Mexican community believes that Día de los Muertos should be a celebration of life with parties and activities the dead enjoyed on earth. The Mexican community is not afraid of death, rather they embrace it and realize it is a part of life.

At Rosary Academy, the Spanish department includes many Día de los Muertos activities in their schedule. They even decorate the classrooms with Alfeñiques or candy skulls and Papel Picados, beautiful crafts cut from colorful tissue paper. Teachers also make Pan de Muertos, a sweetened soft bread shaped like a bun, often decorated with bone-shaped pieces for the class when they celebrate Día de los Muertos. But the most special decoration is their ofrendas– typically an altar that includes a variety of offerings that celebrate the dead and ensure that they are not forgotten. The Royal Reporter was curious about what the Spanish department’s ofrendas looked like, so we traveled around campus to find out.

Señora Casillas’ Ofrenda. Photo by Maryann Compton

Señora Casillas says, “This ofrenda here at school is just a small representation of the one I have at home, which is more extravagant. It is really special to me because, during this time of year, I am able to remember my father in a happy environment. My favorite part of Día de los Muertos is eating my father’s favorite food and dancing to his favorite songs. This really is a day of remembrance of his time on earth and we enjoy this time of year very much.”

 

Señora Kappe says, “My favorite part about Día de los Muertos is that it is a beautiful celebration remembering our loved ones that have died. Día de los Muertos hits home for me because my mom passed away in November, and Día de los Muertos is in November and it reminds me a lot about her. The best part about this day is enjoying the food, feeling the sense of community, and being surrounded by beautiful decorations.”

Señora Kappe’s ofrenda. Photo by Maryann Compton

 

Día de los Muertos proves to be a very special time for Mexican people. Even if you aren’t Hispanic, you can make your own ofrenda. All you need is a table, a nice cloth, some marigold flowers and a photo of your deceased loved one. Use photos for reference and you’ve got you’re own little ofrenda. Be sure to check out Señora Kappe’s and Señora Casilla’s ofrendas in rooms 202 and 209 because they’re amazing.

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