Students, faculty, community members and performers filled the the Quad Thursday night, Oct. 29 in the Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Dia De Los Muertos is a holiday that originated in Mexico and is dedicated to honoring the dead.
Ana Lina Garcia, an Ethnic studies student and theater major kicked off the night by singing the National Anthem a cappella. She later mentioned that this was her first year attending and participating in the event. Garcia also shared that she is from Jalisco, Mexico and that she is excited to celebrate the holiday in Fullerton.
Garcia is a student in professor Gerald Padilla’s Intro to Chicano Studies class. She explained that the students were assigned a project that required them to make altars. Altars take a big part in the Dia De Los Muertos tradition in which a memorial is set up for those who have passed.
Her group was assigned to make an altar in honor of the Syrian children who have recently passed away in connection to the crisis in Syria.
“I just feel like no one focuses on the negative things that happen to good people in the Middle East,” Garcia explained.
Following Garcia’s musical performance was a performance by Aztec dancers. Aztec dancing is also a ritual during the Dia De Los Muertos celebrations. The audience was very engaged and entertained with the performances.
More performances consisted of folkloric dancing. The high-energy performers were dressed in the traditional folklorico attire than consists of bright colors and floral patterns. Some of the dancers also had half of their faces painted as a skull.
Alters were displayed throughout the Quad for attendees to see. Many dedicated their altars to celebrities that have passed away and others to their family and friends that they have lost.
Among the more personal altars was one created by Krystal Holguin, a health science and Chicano Studies major. Her altar was very colorful and filled with pictures of loved ones who have since passed.
Holguin explained that she wanted to honor all of her family and friends who have passed away. Her altar included a picture of her grandfather who passed away twenty years ago. She gathered house decorations to decorate her alter in a way that she felt it represented her family and culture.
She included a picture of Jesus because she knows her loved ones are in heaven. A skull was on display to represent the holiday as well as lit candles. The light from candles is believed to attract the dead to the celebration.
Holguin, who is currently enrolled in Professor Adela Lopez’s Chicano Studies class, shared that the reason she took this class was to learn more about her culture. It is this class that inspired her to double major in Chicano Studies.
One of the faculty members in attendance was Interim President Greg Shulz. Shulz shared that he was very excited that Fullerton College hosted this event and that he enjoyed seeing members of the community come out.
Shulz also shared that it is great to see students learn about each other.
Fullerton College’s Dia De Los Muertos event allowed students to showcase their culture while honoring loved ones. These lively celebrations are exactly how the deceased should be remembered.