News Post

Exploring El Día de los Muertos
Exploring El Día de los Muertos
sorfanakis
During the last two weeks of October, the Lower School Spanish students explored the significance, imagery, and traditions of El Día de los Muertos. This holiday, celebrated in many cultures of the Spanish speaking world, resembles the American holidays of Halloween and Memorial Day, and is an important point of cultural connection and comparison.
During the last two weeks of October, Lower School Spanish students explored the significance, imagery, and traditions of El Día de los Muertos. This holiday, celebrated in many cultures of the Spanish speaking world, resembles the American holidays of Halloween and Memorial Day, and is an important point of cultural connection and comparison.

Each Lower School grade level approached the topic by considering the following questions:
    •    ¿Qué es el Día de los Muertos? What is the Day of the Dead?
    •    ¿Quién celebra el Día de los Muertos? Who celebrates the Day of the Dead?
    •    ¿Dónde se celebra? Where is it celebrated?
    •    ¿Por qué se celebra? Why is it celebrated?

Students discovered that the Day of the Dead is a celebration of family members and loved ones who have died. Associated with this festive occasion are skulls, skeletons, flowers, candles, photographs, and foods. While the images closely resemble Halloween icons, the tone of the celebration is one of joy. Preparations for the Day of the Dead begin long before the actual celebration. Families prepare foods that their loved ones enjoyed. Decorations such as papel picado (artfully cut paper), calaveras de azúcar (colorful sugar skulls decorated by the children), catrinas y catrines (satirical skeletons originally created by artist José Guadalupe Posada), and cempazuchitl (marigolds, the traditional flower of the dead) all come together to create an ofrenda, or offering, to memorialize the families’ loved ones.

As a capstone to their unit, each grade level contributed to the Lower School ofrenda. The display of student work, along with more explanations, will be visible in the Lower School foyer during the first week of November. For even more information about the Day of the Dead, visit http://www.celebrate-day-of-the-dead.com/day-of-the-dead-facts.html.