CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Dia de Los Muertos honors those who have died

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CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Dia de Los Muertos honors those who have died

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Dia de Los Muertos, meaning Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday to remember those who have passed away. It is celebrated on Nov. 1-2, and to learn about the Mexican culture.

Spanish teacher Veronica Bermudez recently let her students decorate and design skulls to hang on her wall.

The most familiar symbol of Dia de Los Muertos may be the calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls), which appear everywhere during the holiday: in candied sweets, as parade masks,even as dolls. Calculus and calaveras are almost always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy clothes and entertaining situations.

A Dia de Los Muertos display outside history teacher Teresa Francis's class.

A Dia de Los Muertos display outside history teacher Teresa Francis’s class.

“Looking at pictures makes it seem creepy, but once the students get to understand it they realize what it actually is then they realize it isn’t creepy, and that it’s actually very interesting,” Bermudez said.

Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de Los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community.

Bermudez also had her classes do a group project answering several questions about Dia de Los Muertos.

On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.

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