Photos and Article By Katya Agatucci | The Broadside (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
A day to commemorate the dead in a way that would celebrate the lives of the deceased. Dia De Los Muertos is an annual festival in Latin America, specifically Mexico.
This Latin American Holiday is a blend of Aztec ritual and Catholicism. This festival celebrates the dead with happiness and fun rather than mourning those who have passed. This is done throughout Latin America and in places in the U.S. with activities that the dead enjoyed in life.
During this time, family graves are cleaned and decorated, and altars are given offerings like candles, photos, food, and flowers.
Parties with food like specialty holiday breads, decorations like sugar skulls, and the use of vibrant colors are used to commemorate the day.
On Dia De Los Muertos, those who have passed become part of the community. They become awakened from their eternal rest to celebrate their lives with their family and loved ones.
A symbol that many are familiar with are the skeletons and skulls that appear everywhere, also known as calacas and calaveras. These images appear on food, clothing, masks, decorations, and toys on this day.
This day also coincides with All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day is a day Catholics offer prayers to those in purgatory. On All Souls’ Day, Catholics commemorate all souls and ask God’s mercy for them.
The Latino Club at Central Oregon Community College hosted three days of activities in honor of Dia De Los Muertos. On Monday, Oct. 30, there were Day of the Dead Crafts and Snacks at the Prineville Campus and at the Redmond Campus on Nov. 1.
In the Multicultural Center at the Bend Campus, there was a bread making workshop and sugar skull cookie decorating and potluck hosted by the Latino Club.
Greg Delgado, community board member of the Latino Association in Bend, made the “Pan De Muerto” for the workshop and demonstrated how to traditionally mold and make the bread.
“[Day of the Dead] celebrates the life of people who have passed, not their death,” Delgado said. He also explained that this holiday is very family-based.
Attendees of the workshop were able to decorate sugar skull cookies with icing and mold bread dough into traditional shapes. The bread was baked in the campus center cafeteria for attendees to pick up after they were done.