How the Day of the Dead is celebrated at American 

Inaaya Adam 

Staff Writer

     Death is a celebration! Día de los Muertos is a holiday to people of Latin origin to honor their loved ones who have passed. Día de los Muertos translates to the day of the dead. The day is a celebration of life and death. This holiday views death as an accepted part of life, and the people celebrating are embracing death. 

     It was on the 1st and 2nd of November, on these two days there are a series of festivals and traditions. The holiday originates in Mexico but is celebrated throughout Latin America with parades, costumes, and ofrendas, decorated altars with pictures and the favorite foods of the person who passed. Ofrendas are an essential part of the celebration. They allow the souls of the dead to enjoy the pleasures of the world for a day.

     Calaveras, or skulls, are a big part of Día de Los Muertos. They are drawn with smiles and are colorfully decorated to smile at death. They come in forms of sugar candies, clay decorations, and face paintings. They are placed on ofrendas and are a popular part of the celebrations. 

     The Flor de Muertos, or Flower of the Dead, are Mexican marigolds. They are believed to guide spirits to their ofrendas. The bright color and smell of the flower attracts the souls to come and feast at the ofrendas made for them. Flor de Muertos symbolizes the beauty and fragility of life. 

     One common food offering laid out on ofrendas are pan de muerto, or the bread of the dead. It is a sweet bread made of a simple mix of eggs, flour, yeast, sugar, and anise. The bread is decorated with dough bones and tiny teardrops to symbolize sorrow. Another popular food made in honor of the Day of the Death are tamales. The effort put into the food honors the dead because of the labor required. 

     This holiday has been around for centuries and has brought families and communities together while celebrating. It is an opportunity to honor the dead, remember loved ones, and acknowledge death in a healthy light. 

     In honor of Día de los Muertos, AHS had an ofrenda and decorations set up in the rotunda to celebrate. The Latin Student Association club at American wanted to share their culture and show inclusiveness, so they decided to make an ofrenda for the students.

     President of the club, Sofia Martinez (11) shares, “All the decorations were paid for [and put up] by the LSA. The club officers, members, advisor, and Ms. Cline helped set up the ofrenda.” 

     The LSA club went to extra lengths to share their culture with the school and spread awareness for Día de los Muertos. 

     “Since Día de los Muertos is such an important holiday in Mexico/Latin America, the club thought it was a great idea to have an ofrenda at school,” Martinez explains. 

     The ofrenda in the rotunda was beautifully decorated and had pictures of loved ones and celebrities who passed. On the table, there were treats and pictures of calaveras. Día de los Muertos is a fun, uplifting two days that has many traditions and customs. 

The ofrenda was in the rotunda in the beginning of November to celebrate Día de los Muertos in American High School. It was set up by the Latin Student Association to share the culture since it is such an important holiday in Latin America. “Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them,” (dayofthedead.holiday).

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