Día de Los Muertos: A Time To Remember Those We Miss Most

What is the day of the dead? Day of the dead, also known as Día de Los Muertos, is a holiday that is celebrated from October 31st until November 2nd.  It first originated in Mexico, where it’s mainly celebrated, but is also celebrated in many other places mainly by people who are of Hispanic descent.

Day of the dead is a holiday where families pay their respect and welcome the souls of those who they’ve lost into their homes. It is said that when midnight hits on October 31st, the souls of the deceased are welcomed to go and spend time with their families. But there are also the souls of the forgotten, who are no longer remembered by someone alive or who aren’t being welcomed.

Some people celebrate the day of the dead by having a big feast, going to a festival celebrating the holiday, and also by making an ofrenda. The ofrenda is usually decorated by adding photos of the deceased loved ones, their favorite foods, brightly lit candles, and marigolds.  “For Día de Los Muertos my mom sets up this table in the living room (an altar), and she puts up a ton of pictures of my grandparents and family members that have passed away. She puts flowers on the table and other stuff, but there are specific flowers she decorates the table with,” explained sophomore, Kimberly Martinez.

The day of the dead isn’t just celebrated by making an ofrenda; many go to festivals or big parties.  Osbourn student Dante Reyes celebrates by going to a festival. “We make a bunch of food like tamales and panes. Someone who meant a lot to me that I put on our altar would be my Grandma. We also go to this one festival that features a bunch of banners, decorations, and more food, and they play a lot of music. They usually have a ceremony at the end about the whole meaning of “Día de Los Muertos,” said Reyes, a junior.

“My family celebrates Día de Los Muertos by writing the deceased family members’ names on little cards and putting them up on the ofrenda, and then what we do is have a nice feast. But before we eat, we leave the food out for a little bit so the aroma can go to the dead, so they can smell their favorite foods. Then we eat, and have pan dulce,” said senior Michael Juarez-Sesam.

Many people look forward to celebrating the day of the dead to honor their deceased loved ones. This day is mainly focused on the celebration of life and honoring those who have passed.  “Someone who meant a lot to me that I put up on the ofrenda would probably be my grandpa from my dad’s side. My grandpa died of cancer a few months after I first met him or a year or two after. It was kind of sad because I went to Guatemala to visit him, and it was really sad when he just died and my dad was just really heartbroken. I did get to know him, which I’m grateful for. So every year I remember my grandpa especially,”  added Juarez-Sesam.