University community celebrates Day of the Dead with food, music, activities, more

An+ofrenda+is+displayed+at+the+YMCA+for+Dia+De+Los+Muertos+to+honor+loved+ones+who+have+passed+away+on+Nov.+1.+Many+festivities+were+held+such+as+sugar+skull+painting+and+creating+picture+frames+for+passed+loved+ones.+

Cameron Krasucki

An ofrenda is displayed at the YMCA for Dia De Los Muertos to honor loved ones who have passed away on Nov. 1. Many festivities were held such as sugar skull painting and creating picture frames for passed loved ones.

By Aliza Majid, Assistant News Editor

Dia De Los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, celebration took place on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 to commemorate the life and death of loved ones.

“The Day of the Day is mainly just a celebration commemorating our loved ones that have passed away into the afterlife,” said Sammy Garcia, senior in LAS. “There are two specific different days: November 1 is a day dedicated to adult children who have passed away, and November 2 is a day dedicated to those who are older and have passed away for a variety of reasons.”

The La Casa Cultural House hosted a Dia De Los Muertos celebration co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Department of Latina/Latino Studies on Nov. 1 at the University YMCA.

The celebration had a lot of activities revolving around the commemoration as well as culture, music, food and altars from different groups who honored the lives of their loved ones.

There were altars set up from different student groups on campus that honored the lives of those who are underrepresented or not known in the community and people that were close to them as well.

“I think you have some people that chose to represent the 43 students who went missing in Mexico a couple of years back, you have some people who decided to do honor the people that have passed in Palestine, children who died in residential schools and more things like that,” said Abby Cortez, sophomore in Business. “I think it’s also really nice to see the way that other cultures are blending together.”

The community came together and provided fun activities like painting sugar skulls, having raffles, designing picture frames for their loved ones and more in order to give life to the celebration. 

Yulissa Alcantar, sophomore in Education, and Kiara Balleza, sophomore in LAS, paint sugar skulls for Dia De Los Muertos on Nov. 1 at the YMCA. (Cameron Krasucki)

The event was decked with colorful decor and mementos in order to brighten up the place and fully represent the Day of the Dead celebration environment with friends and family.

“I also think that it makes the campus a lot more vibrant both in the sense that it creates more open-mindedness, bringing this diversity to campus and having these events and also literally there is a lot more color right now like in the rooms,” Cortez said.

Having this space on campus and being able to share this culturally significant celebration with the campus community has brought much attention to the event.

“I think it’s really important to bring celebrations like these to a campus face because it’s really easy to forget the meaning of what Dia De Los Muertos is because a lot of people can get like mixed messages of what the holiday is based on what they see on social media,” said Michelle Garcia, junior in LAS.

The Dia De Los Muertos celebration brought many cultures and communities together to celebrate the life and death of loved ones through music, food and altar decorations. 

“It’s really nice to have this space where I come and I see other people commemorating their loved ones because I feel very small, in a predominantly white institution,” Garcia said. “It’s really easy for me to feel like my customs and cultures are left out, but this event is where everyone is welcome and it helps me feel more at home and connected.”

[email protected]