Día de los Muertos
Mrs. Donovan (DP Spanish ab initio) and Ms. Zivec (DP Spanish Language B) joined forces with Mrs. Villadiego and her grade 7 class to immerse themselves in the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration this year.
During our last Classrooms Without Walls (CWOW) event, Grade 7 and 11 students made "papel picado" (traditional cut paper decorations), tissue paper "cempasuchitl" (marigolds), and painted their faces before sharing some "pan de muerto" (bread of the dead) and Grade 7 additionally decorated sugar skull cookies while Grade 11 watched Coco. The decorations made during CWOW were put to good use by the Grade 11 students as they decorated the food services area and set up an altar in the Atrium. SAGE even jumped on board with our celebration by serving Mexican food and churros during lunch hour!
Día de los Muertos happens on the 2nd of November every year and is a happy celebration for Mexicans and other Central and South American cultures as they welcome back to the land of the living, for one night only, their dearly departed ancestors.
On this day families place photographs of these loved ones on an altar, put out "ofrendas" (offerings) of their loved ones' favorite food and drink, decorate their homes, neighbourhoods, and cemeteries with brightly coloured "papel picado" and celebrate the memory of their ancestors. The cemetery is always a lively, brightly coloured place where people go to clean the tombstones and gravesites of the deceased and lay out bright orange "cempasuchitl" (marigolds). The street is littered with the petals of this flower, which are used as a pathway to guide the returning spirits to their "altar" where they can partake of the "ofrendas" laid out for them. Far from being a sad or spooky occasion, this celebration, which is a combination of indigenous and Christian beliefs and observances, is joyful, colourful, and full of laughter and music.