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This week we will build an offrenda in celebration of El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) at our school.
Children are invited to bring pictures or other favorite items of people (and/or pets) in their lives who've passed. They will place these on the offrenda (altar) on Thursday, 10/31 and Friday, 11/1. It is also typical to include offerings of fruit, so feel welcome to send in a piece of fruit, as well.
The children have made and will make decorations for the offrenda (altar) in class. Grades students will be invited to place their items on the altar on Thursday and Friday. Parents are welcome to come in, see, and add to it, as well.
November 2 is known as Day of the Dead, or El Dia de los Muertos, a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. Although it seems like it might be spooky, because it coincides with Halloween, Day of the Dead is, indeed, spirit-filled, but is celebratory, rather than spooky. On this day, families remember and pray for loved ones who have died. They go to the cemetery and have a picnic at the burial site of loved ones. They will also make an altar in their home, known as an offrenda. Just like Halloween has special symbols associated with it, El Dia de los Muertos also has images that represent the holiday, such as sugar skulls, decorated skeletons (they are depicted as happy, because it is perceived life after death is a happier place than here), marigold flowers, traditional cut-out paper decorations, and of course photos of loved ones who have passed.