Honoring Traditions: Dia de Los Muertos

img_4724Again this year, students from both lower and upper school came together and contributed to a Día de Los Muertos ofrenda (altar) in the Spanish classroom! Each class created a specific piece to add to the ofrenda and many brought items from home to honor loved ones who have passed. Class time was spent learning about this wonderful celebration by discussing the history, cultural influences and the evolution of this holiday. Second and third graders made traditional Pan de Muerto (anise bread with orange zest), learning how to read a recipe in Spanish and what Pan de Muerto represents at the altar. Fourth graders decorated sugar skulls with icing, feathers and sequins. The fifth grade worked on detailed papel picado, elaborate designs cut into tissue paper along with paper flowers to adorn the ofrenda. Meanwhile, sixth through eighth grade students created dioramas and skeletal figurines representing verbs, places and professions in Spanish.

Día de Los Muertos is a beautiful celebration that takes place most notably in Mexico and is the result of cultures and traditions merging throughout history. During the course of three days (October 31, November 1-2), families gather and take a special journey to the grave sites and resting places of their loved ones to spend the days and evenings celebrating their past lives feasting, dancing, and sharing memories.  This is a time of reflection and appreciation for the cycle of all lives. – By Sara Sobkovciak, elementary and middle school Spanish teacher