Spanish students celebrated the traditions and customs of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) during the week of October 26th through November 2nd. The Mexican holiday is recognized from October 31st through November 2nd).
Though related, Halloween and Día de los Muertos differ greatly in traditions and tone. Day of the Dead festivities demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. In towns and cities throughout Mexico, families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion. They don makeup and costumes, hold parades and parties, sing and dance, and make offerings to these lost loved ones.
"One important aspect of celebrating Día de los Muertos is the making of the Ofrenda," said Montini's Foreign Language Department Chair, Roberta Raike." This is a special altar to remember and pay homage to the family members who have passed." Raike's Spanish classes were tasked with choosing a famous, deceased Hispanic person to honor with an Ofrenda. "They did research on the person's life and the important role they played regarding their heritage," informed Mrs. Raike. The students then built their Ofrendas (altars) and placed them in various areas around the school. Altars included traditional items - water, candles, marigolds, incense, butterflies, favorite foods and items that relate to the person. "These all symbolize the soul of the person finding their way home to their families for the day of remembrance."
Image above: Seniors Nora Sypkens, Nicolas Fisch and Alexis Ream pose in the main office with their Ofrenda (team member, Kathryn Peters, not pictured) - in honor of Mexidan comedian Chespirito (Roberto Mario Gómez y Bolaños)