Filled with bright colors, music and dancing, Dia de los Muertos, literally translated to “Day of the Dead,” celebrates the lives of those who passed away.
Dia de los Muertos derived from the Catholic holidays All Souls Day and All Saints Day and is celebrated across Latin American communities. It is especially popular in Mexico, where the holiday originated.
Dia De Los Muertos is not a day of mourning, this holiday is a celebration of those who have passed away. The two-day holiday usually consist of song and dance, food, drinks and decorating the graves of loved ones.
The first day is dedicated to celebrating the lives of passed children, and the second day to celebrating the lives of passed adults.
Family and friends create altars with “ofrendas,” offerings to the deceased. The altars are usually elaborately decorated and include pictures of the dead, food, flowers and candles. The creation of altars usually begins before the holiday.
It is common for families to celebrate at the cemetery where their loved ones are buried. Those who celebrate Dia de los Muertos believe that during this holiday the dead come to life and celebrate with them. Celebrating in the cemetery is the family’s way of inviting the dead to their celebration.
The most recognizable symbol of Dia de los Muertos is the sugar skull. Sugar skulls are exotically decorated skulls, embellished with jewels and designed with a multitude of colors, and are used all throughout the celebrations to represent the dead.
A few local celebrations take place in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and here at Fullerton College.
With the support of the Cadena Center and Student Equity, the Ethnic Studies Department will host the annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration on the Quad from 6-10 p.m on Thursday October 29. There will be live demonstrations, entertainment, as well as altars to honor loved ones.