Classroom comes alive with Día De Los Muertos celebration

The Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos, celebrates the life of those that have passed. On October 29, the Spanish IV/V class showcased the different elements of the holiday. Students from other spanish classes and members of the spanish club learned why Día de los Muertos is of grave importance. (All photos taken by Brianne Ishihara)

Students watch a short film about Día de los Muertos. The film teaches that the holiday is not meant to be seen as sad, but rather a joyous holiday to remember those that we love.

Senior, Kea Char, says, “[Día de los Muertos] allows us to not be afraid of death and instead embrace the concept of the celebration of life”

(Left to Right) Seniors, Kea Char and Leilani Ostrowski, pose in front of their model of an Ofrenda. An Ofrenda is a shrine to those who have passed. Typically, the Ofrenda has photos of the deceased, marigold flowers, candles, and food or items that the person enjoyed.
(Left to Right) Seniors, Reagan Ramirez, Leilani Ostrowski, and Ondina Hiel, eat Pan de Muerto as Hiel explains its significance. Pan de Muerto is a sweet bread that is eaten and put on the Ofrenda. The bread is orange flavored and decorated with a skull and crossbones design.
Senior, Jozette Barrios, takes a Buzzfeed quiz made by Senior, Lucy Gentry, to see which Aztec afterlife she belongs to. The Aztecs believed that how a person died, determined which afterlife they would go to. For example, if someone had a violent death, then they would go to Tlalocan, which is a paradise that is home to the god Tlaloc and located in one of the 13 aztec heavens.
Students use tissue paper to make marigold flowers and Papel Picados. It is believed that the marigold flowers are a pathway that leads the spirits to their families on the holiday. Papel Picado is a tissue paper banner that intricately cut with designs of skulls and flowers. It can be seen, hung on buildings and the ofrenda during Día de los Muertos.