The Pegasus

Día de los Muertos

A+Dia+de+los+Muertos+altar+at+the+Carr+House.+
A Dia de los Muertos altar at the Carr House.

A Dia de los Muertos altar at the Carr House.

A Dia de los Muertos altar at the Carr House.

Genesis Sandoval, Editor

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For many, October 31 is a day for trick-or-treating and eating plenty of candy. For others, though, it is the beginning of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos.

Day of the Dead is a holiday from October 31 to November 2, where families and friends come together to pray for and remember their loved ones who have died. Many create altars, called ofrendas, for those passed on in order to welcome them with items and foods they loved in their life. It really isn’t meant to be a sad holiday, but instead a way to honor the dead and welcome them home during the holiday.

Many Buena students celebrate the holiday themselves, like Maria Rodriguez. “Día de los Muertos is something my family has always celebrated,” says Rodriguez. “It’s a beautiful way for my family, and tons others, to remember those who are dead now, but we don’t want to forget.”

It’s a beautiful way for my family, and  [sic] tons others, to remember those who are dead now, but we don’t want to forget.”

— Maria Rodriguez

When asked how she celebrates the holiday, Rodriguez explains, “I used to visit Mexico a lot as a kid during Day of the Dead. It’s hard to go this year since it’s in the middle of the week, but we have our own altars in my house, and we cook for our passed on family members. I plan to watch the movie Coco too. It’s really amazing to have days just to remember them, y’know?”

Jose Sanchez had similar plans. He explains, “I’m gonna hang out with my family. I think it’s just a good time to just all be together and celebrate the dead… I wish I could actually visit them in cemeteries and stuff, but since I can’t I think the next best option is to just be at home with my family.”

Día de los Muertos doesn’t have to just be a holiday spent at home, this past Sunday, October 28, Mike Foster, filmmaker and Carr House host, held his own event in Hereford at the Carr House. The event showcased how people across the border celebrated the holiday, and those in the area were encouraged to bring photos and items for their passed on loved ones at the available altars at the event itself. The event featured food relevant to Mexican culture, and videos and presentations of what the holiday is like in Mexico.

Foster describes the event as, “We’re celebrating the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, and here at the Carr House we have presentations here every other Sunday and this is the last presentation we give every year.” He adds, “It’s my favorite because I’ve been going down to Mexico for probably the last 12 years and making films about how people celebrate Día de los Muertos in Mexico.”

While the holiday has many of its own traditions, it doesn’t have to be celebrated just one day. He says, “It’s an evolving holiday and we here living in the Southwest now, the new inhabitants, have formed this holiday the way we want to so we want to so I’ve made new adjustments to the holiday, as many other people have.”

From American homes, to the local Carr House, variations of Day of the Dead are everywhere. Even in America, yet so close to the border, some of Mexico’s culture can be found in plenty of families and events here in southern Arizona.

 

To view Foster’s videos, some featuring how Día de los Muertos has been celebrated in Mexico, visit: https://vimeo.com/sanpedroriver

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