The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. Some Mexican families spend those days at the cemetery, planting flowers and washing and repairing the headstones of loved ones. The favorite foods of the deceased are prepared and brought to the cemetery, to be eaten by the family. The atmosphere is a happy and festive one, because it is believed that the spirits of the departed relatives have gone on to a better life. Mexican families spend the night between November 1st and 2nd in the cemeteries, eating and dancing, and talking with friends and relatives. Other activities include parades of skeletons in the street, special plays in the park, tongue and cheek newspaper articles, and in some families the altars are set up in the home and prompt big family gatherings.
- We will have an altar set up at West Campus for class visits.The altar is to teach the students about the tradition and allow them to draw on comparisons with different celebrations in our own culture. Over the past couple years, the Day of the Dead has become much more popular in our pop culture. This activity will allow the students to learn the traditions behind the Mexican celebration and will encourage them to draw comparisons between our culture and that of other countries. This is aligned with the ACTFL standards that we as a school use for our immersion portion of the curriculum.
- Photo Frame for the Altar: We would like to invite students to decorate the attached frame and include a photo of any deceased friends or family that they would like to recognize and include on the altar (clearly mark the backs of the frames with name, teacher, and grade if you would like them returned). Return frame to their teacher by November 2. We hope this activity will promote an interest for all language villages to join our Hispanic Culture celebration on the evening of November 3. Download Frame Here
- November 3 during school hours: Dress in traditional Hispanic clothing or Day of the Dead outfits. No hats allowed. If not dressing up, uniform must be worn. No halloween costumes allowed.
- November 3 from 5:00-8:00 PM. Hispanic Heritage and Dia de los Muertos Celebration. The evening will include samples of traditional foods, a fashion show of traditional Hispanic or Day of the Dead dress, different crafts related to the Day of the Dead, and cultural presentations by dance groups and students. Prizes for the top Day of the Dead outfit will be given. CHAC Gallery will be offering a special Sugar Skull Class that includes history and traditions of Day of the Dead.
Obviously, the subject of death is central to this holiday. If there has been a recent death of a relative or friend of your student’s, or if this is a sensitive topic for your family, or if you would rather not have your student participate in these activities, please notify your student’s teacher at your earliest convenience so we can respect your family’s wishes.
We are excited to bring this cultural remembrance and event to your students and your families!
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